Kaid Benfield Archive


Chris Jordan’s art: crushed cars, 1.14 million supermarket bags, and more

Kaid Benfield

Posted April 29, 2008 at 5:00PM

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Chris Jordan thinks big, and he wants us to think big, too.   He makes large-scale fine art photographs of American mass consumption, the losses from Hurricane Katrina, and more.   Have you ever wondered what the number of plastic drink bottles used by Americans every five minutes (two million) look like, all piled together?  Or the number of cell phones retired in the US every day (426,000), in a heap?  Or the number of brown paper supermarket bags used every hour, stacked together?

Chris Jordan, Crushed Cars #3, Tacoma 2004  Chris Jordan, Paper Bags, 2007 

In some ways, the art is mesmerizing, and it is rendered not entirely without a sense of humor, although the messages are serious ones.  Few words are needed.  Barbie dolls, aluminum cans, children’s blocks, even handguns, and more.  His art has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, and you can see images of it here.