Artist Gray Wielebinski’s debut book ‘One Hundred Baseball Cards’ draws on both ancient and contemporary myths that exist in our daily lives. Collage is an essential mode of making for Wielebinski, who is drawn to its power to subvert or create context and meanings from what already exists.
An avid collector since childhood, Wielebinski’s source material is baseball cards. He transforms these emblems of American sport into a new collector’s item – an artwork. Keeping the scale of the original cards creates intimacy, inviting the viewer to look closely and deconstruct their relationship to this familiar object. Leather, fur, threads and nail polish punctuate the works surface. Using textiles and sewn decorative elements layered onto sportsman’s bodies, the series plays with the status of craft as a traditionally feminine mode of making.
Wielebinski uses sports as an entry point to discuss gender, surveillance, desire, race, national identity, the body, celebrity, costume and power dynamics. Through multifaceted works, Wielebinski highlights how sport is both embedded in our daily lives and politically charged.
In collages and soft sculptures, Wielebinski puts together new forms and ways of embodiment, questioning what makes a body more than the sum of its parts. He dissects figures, directly challenging our obsession with ‘reading’ bodies.
The book also includes an introduction by writer and researcher Asa Seresin, whose work focuses on gender and sexuality, particularly theories of heterosexuality.