Rust, restore

The following is an entry to a show at Fort Drum titled Reflections of Generosity. This is an older work, probably done in 2006.

Entropy and restoration are two recurring themes in my process, and thus my sculptures. When I use the word entropy I’m referring to the inevitable deterioration of both the physical and social world around us. I most often observe this phenomenon in the built environment. Buildings crumble, mailboxes rust, roadways buckle and gape with potholes.

Restoration, conversely, implies the ability to rectify or reverse impending decay. In my sculptures this usually takes the form of found objects, repurposed as a canvas (as with Rust, restore) or sculpture. Some of the time these salvaged items serve as raw materials, sometime as accessories so to speak.

Rust restore - Paul Nielsen

Rust, restore comments directly on both entropy and restoration. Whlie the use of text seems, at first, very blunt, symbolism remains. My hope is for the viewer to begin considering both the inevitability of decay and hope with the possibility of restoration.

Rust restore detail - Paul Nielsen


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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