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Seth Clark’s Mixed-Media Works Depict Abandoned Houses

As anyone who grew up in the Rust Belt, surrounded by abandoned factories and homes, can attest, there is something deeply and perversely satisfying about the sight of buildings in a state of collapse. The Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Seth Clark seems to understand this feeling well. By meticulously building upon layers of scrap paper, various mixed media and drawing, Clark creates textured images of decadently crumbling edifices. These structures are simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Rather than appearing as merely passive victims to the dark forces behind their deterioration — political, social, and environmental — the buildings seem almost alive, feeding on their own collapse. This sense of a destructive energy, perhaps driven by our own unconscious death wish, may be what makes these ruins so compelling and strangely beautiful.

As anyone who grew up in the Rust Belt, surrounded by abandoned factories and homes, can attest, there is something deeply and perversely satisfying about the sight of buildings in a state of collapse. The Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Seth Clark seems to understand this feeling well. By meticulously building upon layers of scrap paper, various mixed media and drawing, Clark creates textured images of decadently crumbling edifices. These structures are simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Rather than appearing as merely passive victims to the dark forces behind their deterioration — political, social, and environmental — the buildings seem almost alive, feeding on their own collapse. This sense of a destructive energy, perhaps driven by our own unconscious death wish, may be what makes these ruins so compelling and strangely beautiful.

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