For San Francisco-based performance artist Chris Sollars 98 SC, winning a 2013 Guggenheim fellowship means spending less time teaching and supporting the work of other artists in his 667Shotwell collective and more time focusing on his own projects. Since his days in the RISD Sculpture department, his work has centered around street performance documented with video. “I started doing performances because I wanted a direct and immediate encounter with the public,” he says.
Sollars grabbed the attention of Providence dwellers as well as Bay Area locals with public, absurdist works such as Street Clean, in which he rolled a bucket of soapy water around city streets, picking up trash, meticulously washing it in said bucket and then carefully putting it back where he found it. “The refuse of society is always something I can work with,” he says drily.
Chris Sollars creates sculptures using discarded objects he finds on the streets.
In the last year or so, Sollars has taken to the sea via a fisherman friend and is now creating work inspired by water and the coastline. One facet of his new Pacific Tackle series involves exchanging the dirty puddle water from his street with water from the ocean. In another piece, he walks the coastline dragging a board fitted with a camera that documents the changing landscape at ground level, from mud to sand to trash. During his travels he also takes note of abandoned objects that he can later collect and use in his sculptures.