Folk Art

Old Tech, New Art

For more than a century, the QWERTY typewriter was the most important business tool in any office. Millions were made and sold. Then in the 1980s, along came the desktop computer and within a decade, typewriters were destined for the trash heap. Where most people saw outmoded technology, illustrator/sculptor Jeremy Mayer in Oakland, California, looked beyond the typewriter’s original function and saw an intriguing array of metal shapes and forms that could be reassembled into full-scale anatomically correct human and animal figures.

Mayer’s sculptures seem both skeletal and robotic. They are rendered in intricate detail, using only typewriter parts and nothing else. No welding, soldering or gluing is involved. His process is entirely cold assembly. Mayer spends between 1,000 to 1,400 hours to construct his more elaborate pieces, which are finding an appreciative market in fine art galleries.