Vincent Fecteau, 2007
Commissioned by the University of California, San Francisco
(American, b. 1969)
Vincent Fecteau lives and works in San Francisco, working with fragile but ordinary materials like papier mâché and found objects to create unique and idiosyncratic objects that hover between sculpture and model, between real and imagined. There is always a sense of possibility in his delicate and modestly scaled work, and a balance between perfection and decay.
The prospect of creating a permanent work for a public place presented Fecteau with a whole new set of circumstances. He was interested in the liminal places, the places where one would not expect an artwork to be found. He chose to engage the stainless steel drinking fountains between the restrooms on every floor of Byers Hall, creating a series of relief sculptures that incorporated and foregrounded the drinking fountains almost as if they were found objects, partly obscuring the "sculpture." The reliefs are made of aluminum, lost wax castings from Fecteau's papier mâché constructions, and they convey every detail of their fragile originals. Their personal and hand made quality is in stark contrast to the manufactured perfection of the drinking fountains, disrupting and reversing the relationship of sculpture and object, background and foreground.