Since the early 20th century, works of art have been fabricated from almost every material under the sun. Many materials were made for purposes other than art and include plastics, epoxies, rubber, tape, and even vinyl records. Materials found in nature are also used; well known examples incorporate butterflies, chocolate and animals, both human and other.
All of these materials have different inherent vices and degradation issues that affect longevity and can make the conservation of these works quite complicated. Many of these materials are sensitive to light, particularly in the ultra-violet range, as well as heat and humidity. Given this, appropriate environmental conditions are an important aspect for the exhibition and storage of these works.
Modern and contemporary works are created from a range of materials and often commissioned for specific purposes.
SBE Conservation recently worked on Fembot, illustrated here, created by Stan Winston for a 2005 photo shoot for Svedka Vodka. The piece is formed by separate parts made from epoxies, plastics, metal and car paint. Pieces are attached with magnets or fit together with varying sized screws and bolts.
The piece had been stored unprotected and suffered damages including losses and scratches in the paint, plastic and decals as well as other condition problems. After discussion with the client and the original fabricator, it was decided that the piece would be fully restored. SBE worked in conjunction with an experienced local fabricator to restore the piece to its original appearance. A custom display case was made for this important object so it can now be safely viewed and enjoyed in a highly trafficked work environment.