Allergen Alert! German artist Wolfgang Laib uses Pollen as Main Medium
German conceptual artist Wolfgang Laib creates his installations from natural materials displayed in very unconventional and unnatural ways. The artist has spent over 23 years collecting pollen from the area around his studio for his works. In the gallery, he carefully sifts the pollen into a saturated rectangular field.
When asked about his choice of medium, Laib explains: "I wanted to have this very intense, concentrated experience with the pollen. So the meadow with flowers where I collect the pollen is something very different from how you see it here, a real concentrated experience without any distractions, nothing else."
You might even be surprised to know that Laib actually put his work up for sale to any interested art patrons. The artist had detailed how in an interview with The Journal of Contemporary art:
Ottmann [interviewer]: Your pollen pieces are for sale. If a collector wants to own one how exactly does that work?
Laib: He buys three jars of pollen and it’s his choice of keeping it in the jar or to get rid of his furniture and spread it out on the floor.
Ottmann: Would you go to his home and do that?
Laib: Yes, but of course I would be even happier if he would do it himself.
Attached are some photos of Laib's completed works, as well as shots of Laib's process and a short interview with PBS' Art21.