By Laura Coburn
Andy Coolquitt recycles. But instead of throwing the old beer bottle into the dumpster to be picked up Tuesday morning, he gently places it in his studio.
Coolquitt collects and reuses found objects and transforms them into masterpieces. Some finished pieces are left untouched, in the exact fashion that the pieces were found. Other final products are combinations of found debris from the street that become meaningful artwork. He scavenges for metal tubing, empty bottles, drinking straws, paper bags, and lighters and uses them as his building blocks for his installations.
The artist’s first solo museum exhibit “Andy Coolquitt: attainable excellence” will recombine 60 sculptures and tableaux made between 2024 and 2024 into a site-specific installation, according to the Blaffer Art Museum website.
While many of his works appear simple, their components provide substance. Other works are complex weavings of metals, empty cans, and lamps that give the viewer freedom to interpret the significance to them and to greater society. Through his artwork, Coolquitt primarily aims to tell the story of people living on the street.
Coolquitt was born in Mesquite, Texas in 1964. He attended The University of Texas at Austin and earned his BFA in art history. He gained most of his recognition for his University of Texas master’s thesis project a house.
He works as an artist-in-resident at 21er Haus in Vienna, Austria and will soon hold an exhibit there in July 2024. Today he resides in Austin, Texas and continues transforming the simple into the meaningful.
Location: Blaffer Art Museum 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, Texas 77004
Every Tue.-Sat. until Aug. 24