Is this altered art?

(Jupiter, Florida, United States)

altered art assemblage

altered art assemblagealtered art assemblage

During a Fall cleaning of my cabinet shop I started a few projects using scrap wood, metal and antique tools. Here are some pictures of the first piece that I made.

The attachments are a mixture of antique tools with scraps from around the shop. The wood shop is made from various types of wood, plastic that I laminated in three plies with photos in between to get a three dimensional look, and some old carpenter's pencils for signs.

Very whimsical wall art... What do you think? Is this altered art?

Thank you for sending us your pictures. I love the dramatic lighting in that detail shot!

What you're describing could certainly be considered as recycled mixed-media art, or something of that nature, but whether it's actually altered art according to the common definition is less certain.

Where we attempt to answer the question 'What is altered art?' we say that most people would understand this expression to mean the transformation or 'alteration' of ordinary, everyday objects into decorative pieces using a wide variety of different techniques and materials, and that it's a broad term that at its most basic describes a way of recycling, and giving new life to, all sorts of commonplace and functional (or perhaps even useless) items for ornamental purposes.

At first glance this definition would certainly appear to fit what you've made. What may be the test is whether you've taken a central object and 'altered' or embellished it with others. If it's more a collection of found objects of more or less equal rank, as it were, it might perhaps be better described as an assemblage.

That's just my opinion, of course; other people may disagree. It will be interesting to see whether other visitors have any thoughts on the matter.


Richard has sent us more pictures of some of his other recycled mixed-media art. Here's an example that I particularly liked...

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