Utility Knife

Artist John Steins
Medium Digital print on archival paper
Classification photography
Dimensions 10 x 15 (image size); 13 x 19 (sheet size

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Part of John Steins’ photographic series that investigates surface textures and constructions in everyday environments, Utility Knife exposes a fragment of the cast iron tool’s handle in microscopic detail. The perspiration holes and embossed letters become decontextualized in Stein’s macro composition, reducing the object’s information such that it is no longer identifiable. Referred to by Steins as a “found composition,” Utility Knife not only elevates minute details, but powerfully triggers memories pertaining to the artist’s father, to whom the object belonged.