Pick up an object. Any object. Before it found its way into your hands it was made somewhere else and spent a life on a desk, in a closet, on a shelf, perhaps in use outdoors. The object has a history, a past that has woven through time to be brought here to your hands right now. That’s one story. Another story is your own thoughts on the object—what it means to you, what it symbolizes, how it’s been used. Then there are what others think of the object, and how their own lives have shaped different ideas about the things they see and use—even more stories. Assemble an arrangement of items and suddenly the opportunities for storytelling grow exponentially.

For Kyle Polzin, whose still life images have imbued Western art with a sense of graceful reverence for many of the most iconic and overlooked objects, every item is a storytelling opportunity. The trouble is finding which story of hundreds, if not thousands, he wants to tell.

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