New Habitat chief artist, bureaucrat

Tyler Turkle“This is where my entire life really began,” says artist Tyler Turkle, handing over a worn Ziploc bag containing a black-and-red flat plastic square about the size of a sheet of paper. Rubbery to the touch, it contorts to any shape you can bend it.

As he describes his “Eureka moment” of discovery, you can almost hear the classic film quote from the 1960s — the generation when Turkle came of age — as a character in “The Graduate” offers a vague snippet of career advice: “One word: Plastics.”

But Turkle, 65, would take the cheap synthetic material in his own unique direction. Pouring and molding liquid acrylic, he made art out of black silhouettes on glass window panes, plasticene puddles of color that lie on the floor and rubbery curtains emblazoned with “Visa” and “MasterCard” as commentary on our national obsession with plastic.

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