Untitled 2, 2005, from the "Labor series," 365 men's ties, wood, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist
Tim Curtis's work is composed of 365 ties woven into a 100-meter-long braid, whose ends are looped into nooses. The ties were purchased at a market in Nairobi (Kenya), where the artist spent a brief period of time in 2005. Nairobi is known for its second-hand markets, which are among the largest in Africa. Multitudes of vendors in these markets sell various objects and items of clothing (including ties) gathered and distributed by charity organizations. In this work, Curtis addresses the imaginative inventions and talent for improvisation that characterize the work of artisan-vendors in the third world, who produce stunning objects from the most banal materials. In addition to paying homage to the manual labor involved in artmaking, the nooses also contain an ironic statement about ties as a suffocating, masculine status symbol in the Western, white world.
Born in San Diego, California, 1947; lives and works in Miami, Florida