past exhibition

SEPTEMBER 2017: Robert Dozono - Still Working on Garbage Paintings + Learning to Paint and Draw


For 26 years, Robert Dozono has been transforming trash collected during Clackamas River fishing trips and from his family’s personal use into subtle, large scale images. From a distance, they read as bucolic riverscapes, zoom in for a closer look to reveal individual pieces of discarded consumer waste collaged to the surface. “I attempt to foreground what we are doing to our natural resources by using a canvas layered with what is normally cast aside,” Dozono explains.

Growing up in post-war Japan, a world where “no one wasted anything,” Dozono learned to convert debris into whimsy: a rusty can became a kickball or, with strings attached, a horse clopping down the street. This austere, yet imaginatively rich, beginning was the initial spark for the artist’s Garbage Paintings. He still feels profound discomfort with the excesses of today’s consumer society. “In this age and in our economy,” he notes, “it is almost impossible not to waste.” By cancelling his garbage service and recycling plastic and paper waste into technically demanding, yet delicate images of nature, Dozono has found a means of taking personal responsibility for the natural environment. His work may inspire viewers to do the same.