Art, architecture, history, travel

autodidact, modern scientist, artist and inventor

A neon sign commemorating Soulard Mardi Gras f...

A neon sign commemorating Soulard Mardi Gras from 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ted Gast, an autodidact, is a modern scientist, artist and inventor , who began working with papermaking in 1998. What began as a method of repurposing used cotton clothing to illustrate the tensions between the old industrial and information age to a new sustainable industry based on an ideal of cradle to cradle methods of production. In his Art, he promotes this theme, by showing the progression from textiles to paper, and including clothing tags, unpulped fibers, as well as half formed paper sheets.   Gast first began working with paper in high school when he made his own chromatography plates from cellulose by hand for a science project. He currently focuses on raising awareness of the lost majesty of the industrial Midwest laid to waste.  He expresses himself with bold colors and a variety of repurposed materials. First exposed to the works of William Morris, Ernest Trova and Dard Hunter, Ted’s work reminds one of the style of the abstract expressionist painters. His work is propelled by a childlike play of shape and color, and often displaying underlying mathematical formulae or element of chemistry.

Ted Gast is an American artist whom some describe as a neo-fauve, but he describes his goals as repurposed industrial waste and sustainability. Gast was born in St. Louis, MO. Always interested in new uses for old materials Gast and a partner recently formed a company to produce high quality post consumer cotton paper from repurposed textiles and rags.

He has been strongly influenced by his German heritage – both sides of his family emigrated from Germany to St Louis, An appreciation for art runs in the family – his great-great grandfather was an immigrant to St. Louis from Trier, Germany and was an ecclesiastical sculptor.

At the age of twenty he spent a year of study in Bavaria at Regensburg studying chemistry, the German language and linguistics. Mr. Gast also studied ancient art and art history. Gast has also visited some the finest Art museums in China, Japan and Thailand; as well as Paris, Vienna, behind the Iron Curtain to Belgrade, Berlin and Budapest. Regensburg has also produced the latest pope, Benedict XVI.  The influence of Bavaria, riparian Regensburg and the Danube are still apparent in Gast’s work, and dovetail with his origins along the Mississippi river. Ted lives with his wife of 27 years in Richmond Heights, MO and has two children.  Ted maitains his studio in a 99 year old former dairy building in the historic Soulard district of St. Louis.

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