The wit & rigor of Spinski’s trompe l’oeil work gives it a particularly compelling vitality, the artist seemingly having been able to alchemise his clay into any material or form. Often, as here with 'Schlitz Box’, there’s utilitarian purpose laid bare, and in his life Spinski referred to his practice as an inversion of the chinese Yixing philosophy where unusual materials were often used to create harmonious and resolved teapots or other ceramic work. Spinski drew objects that speak of a hurried or imaginatively chaotic lifestyle, but in focus and attention to detail (a collection of dust in the folds of the cap, a faded signature upon a baseball) compose a meditative weight.
The wit & rigor of Spinski’s trompe l’oeil work gives it a particularly compelling vitality, the artist seemingly having been able to alchemise his clay into any material or form. The ‘Small Pail’ is one of a series of works based on the garbage can, the careful, near-perfect reproduction of refuse and container coyly raising the poetic intonation of such an everyday environment, whilst resubmitting notions of value in art to a new and honest order. A mischievous sense of humour (coupled with that natural skill for replication) occasionally landed Spinski in trouble over his lifespan, a similar work to this once purportedly and purposely left out with the overnight trash by the artist — the sanitation worker fighting unsuccessfully to remove the sealed lid until the piece shattered in his hands. Luckily this particular piece has survived intact. Glazed Ceramic sculpture from the Garbage Can series