Conceptual artists chase the articulation of an ideology. In that vein, Jeffrey Allen Price is a conceptual aggregator, developing three main bodies that work independently but also together. “One theme that runs through my work is this dialogue of capitalism and materialism. Almost all my work is somehow pointing to it or rejecting it or embracing it.”
The brickolage works (brick + collage) force viewers to contemplate what happens to materials that can’t be recycled. They’re manifestations of our throw-away culture. “Everything is just, ‘well, make another…’ capitalism produces built-in obsolescence—everything is meant to last only a tiny bit.” The sculptures are autobiographical in nature, yet price is also trying to make something universally aesthetic, social and explorative.
His “rustagrams” (rusted pictograms) may not seem heady at first, but they are still part of the same ethos. The works are accumulations of time. To some extent they are statements about decay, but also studies on the vitality of objects. “I believe we give an energy to something because of our intention about it.” By using a discarded item to create a timestamp, price revives it and forces us to consider “when is something over?”
It all comes out of nouveau realism but is fed in the most earthy of ways and at the center of it is the potato. Price’s think potato movement is a touchstone for many cultural ideas. Where he may be decoding symbols in the abstract, he is actually coding the potato. For Price, the potato is a vehicle for looking at the world through common habits like harvest, self-sufficiency and nutrition. He extrapolates these ideas to everything: art, spirituality, socio-political tropes and the joy of lightheartedness.
Price invests in themes of duality, subversion and efficiency. But he likes thinking that all objects have a feeling and if his art makes us think it too, it can change how we interact with the world.