Who: Patrick Renner is a sculptor specializing in geometrical and architectural creations, mostly from recycled colored wood. He began his career with LEGO as a boy, but developed his talent with wood at the hands of his grandfather, a skilled carpenter. His pieces are fairly abstract objects and installations ranging from the work above that resembles a giant ocarina to more esoteric creations like Bounded Operator.
You've seen Renner's work in all the usual local spots like Art League, Lawndale and the Art Car Museum. He's currently working in partnership with a new art space, Avis Frank Gallery. He was lucky enough to land a piece in the CAMH when still in high school, and has his sights set for the big leagues of the Menil and MFAH.
Why He Likes It: "The act of bringing something into reality that I've visualized is always a thrilling experience. I love the alchemical process of transforming refuse into new being in a sculpture, and highlighting the inherent qualities in the material that may be overlooked, taken for granted or hidden. The physical act of manipulating material is always generative, and I find that my brain is very activated when I'm engaged in building; even my mood is affected positively!"
What Inspires Him: "All kinds of things inspire me... mythology, botany, etymology, geology and minerals, alchemy, biological anomalies, gongshi (Chinese scholar's rocks), petrified wood, Japanese joinery, outsider art, haiku, the quilts of Gee's Bend, field guides, Rube Goldberg machines, cosmology, network theory, neuroscience, architecture and geometry (especially topology), and film and music, among others.
"One of my favorite sources for kick-starting unexpected ideas for work is reading Cabinet magazine, rife with oddities and curiosities. Random documentaries, and a lot of the programming on NPR, lead to ideas in that same way. I could credit much to Mary Shelley, as my primary approach to creating sculpture revolves around putting things together in a considered way, from parts that are not highly valued or are 'dead'...I call it the Frankenstein method."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
If Not This, Then What: If sculpting was off the table, Renner would try his hand at art criticism, curating or architecture. All fairly understandable paths considering his work. In an alternate universe, he pursued a career as a professional chef.
If Not Here, Then Where: "Probably in L.A., where my best friend lives. NYC would be awesome, or maybe somewhere within striking distance instead. There are so many cool places in the world I still haven't been, it's hard to narrow down or make an informed decision...maybe I'd throw a dart at a world map?"
What's Next: He declined to elaborate further, but apparently a monstrous work of art called the Funnel Tunnel will be something to see in the near future in Montrose. Could we have a new Inversion house on our hands?
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer