Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by Coe and Mordant Families, 2009
paper mache, pva glue, wood trestle table
90 × 90 × 75cm
Charlie Sofo collects, observes and displays everyday forms and materials and re-presents them as items of wonder. The obsessive nature of his practice is revealed by his accumulation of various different materials, from lint to human hair. These items are transformed by the artist’s own subtle intervention with medium and appearance.
Balls is an example of this obsession and the list of materials is an homage to the office supply shop: 1 sheet of Prisma paper, 100 Post It notes, Rainbow colour pad, envelopes, postage stamps, office paper, toilet rolls and cardboard. These materials are rolled into balls and placed upon a trestle table. Some of the balls accumulate vertically whilst others sit in tight small squares or rows.
Sofo’s point of reference is the modernist grid but he has turned its minimalist pretensions on its head. The grid is neither permanent, nor totally ephemeral, and the humble nature of the mediums used, the cardboard and paper ephemera of everyday life, runs counter to the hard permanence and objecthood of much minimalist sculpture.
Glenn Barkley (curator), Statement of significance, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2009
I made Balls by mulching individual units of paper in a food processor and then forming spheres in my hands. The written list is an exact inventory of the materials in the work.
Through his artwork, Charlie Sofo encapsulates the incidental yet essential details of the world around him, thoughtfully articulating otherwise seemingly chaotic observations, through sculpture, installation and video. Sofo’s investigations of daily routines become his measure of how life is lived. Detritus and other people’s trash, for example discarded rubber bands and colourful found bookmarks, have been collected and presented to us for renewed observation, scattering possibilities like confetti. These thoughtful works often offer a quiet yet determined nudge to the viewer about human-made environment and what it reveals about those who interact with it.Learn more