Saarinen's work explores human rituals and habits as told through his manipulation of the familiar, elevating everyday objects into cultic ones in order to integrate them into his own ritualistic games in space. Eliot's aesthetic was shaped by his family lineage that includes internationally renowned architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen their disciples Charles and Ray Eames, and as seen from the top of a skateboard. "When you skateboard, you see the world in a different way: You notice where the city is smooth. You notice potholes and rails and ramps. And you see, very intimately, how your interaction changes your little piece of the environment, says Saarinen. "When you skate a ledge every day, the ledge changes. It feels different and, scuff by scuff, looks different." In Rubber Tree, Eliot shares that worldview through his paintings -- at once scuffed-up and beautiful, perfectly symmetrical and in total disarray. Fueled by an unyielding curiosity, Saarinen creates panels made of crème brulee, steeped teabags, cotton swabs and reimagines them into scintillating grids. "By using conventional items in unconventional ways I change the process inherently connected to each - caramelizing sugar, steeping teabags - to translate these into new forms. I take this one step further by adding something very unnatural which holds the forms together -- epoxy resin -- to create a balance with the organic/natural materials. Adding a new unnatural element to a simple, original idea/material, changes its inherent purpose and meaning. Rubber Tree is Saarinen's second exhibition at Frank Pictures, his first show occurred while he was still a teenager. Currently working towards his degree in Fine Art, Rubber Tree is Saarinen's third solo show. An exhibition of his Grandfather, design giant, Eero Saarinen, the architect of JFK's TWA terminal, Dulles International Airport in D.C. and the iconic Saarinen chair for Knoll International, is concurrent at the A+D Museum of Architecture and Design in Los Angeles.
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