Don Porcella embraces the materials and processes of arts and crafts to make his eerily playful works. His signature creations are surrealistic figurative sculptures made entirely of woven, colorful pipe cleaners, as in Take Me to Your Leader (2011), a condor, mid-flight, carrying a bespectacled man/rat hybrid in its talons. He also creates original encaustic paints, mixing pigments and waxes to create otherworldly compositions that are at once humorous and profoundly unsettling. For Porcella, who claims formative influence from Outsider Art, nature, and science fiction, this subversive repurposing of materials is a commentary on American consumerism. “Growing up in suburban Modesto, California forced me to see and live my life through strip malls and shopping mall culture, and this past is still a sublime source of inspiration to me,” he says.