Honestly, you shouldn't be surprised to walk into a modern art gallery and see trash hanging from a wall. But that's not what Tom Pfannerstill makes. What you see above is not an old KFC bucket, but a painted image of one on wood. Pfannerstill makes highly realistic images of crushed trash with acrylic paint and enamel on basswood. You can find more examples in the series here.
Pfannerstill notes that his paintings are not of generic pieces of trash. They reflect specific pieces of trash that he finds on the street. On the back of each painting are notes about where and when he found the original object. The paintings are memorials to these individual pieces of trash. Pfannerstill explains:
There is also a missing time element, an implied narrative about how the object travelled from where it originated to where I happened upon it.These objects have a life span so to speak (if not an actual one, at least metaphoric one), from their production through their usefulness to their ultimate disposal. As such, I see them as ‘memento mori’, reminders of mortality and the corresponding corollary ‘carpe diem’. They are subtle reminders of the temporal nature of all things.
-via Visual News