The idiosyncratic work of Allan McCollum frequently uses the skill of craftsmen in his humor-infused art practice. Born in Los Angeles in 1944, McCollum applies strategies of mass production to handmade objects—such intricate labor raises questions about the role of the artist and the intrinsic value of the work of art.
Without a formal education as an artist McCollum initially set out to work in the theater or in restaurant… Read more
About the artwork
This piece is part of McCollum's The Shapes Project. Initiated in 2005, the artist created a system for producing over 31 billion different shapes, made from the combination of six groups of type elements. The idea is to create enough unique shapes for every person on the planet to have one of their own. Finding its method in the analysis of mass production, The Shapes Project proposes a paradox—the artist's wish to produce a work of art on a massive scale, but at the same time ensuring that none of these objects, although created from the same mold, are identical. The Book of Shapes allows us grasp the magnitude of this undertaking.