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Real Eyes Gallery to Sell Elements of 'TP' Art for Food Project
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, March 27, 2020
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Henry Klein is selling the 24 rolls of toilet tissue that make up his art installation to raise funds for the Berkshire Food Project.


Klein's 'Uber Waves' exhibit opened at Real Eyes Gallery March 7.
ADAMS, Mass. — Artist Henry Klein never considered the everyday material he used in one of his art pieces would be in such high demand almost immediately. 
 
Or that the wall of swooping rolls of tissue in the front window of Real Eyes Gallery would make passers-by stop in their tracks.
 
"I had no idea," Klein said in an exhibition talk the gallery live-streamed earlier this month. "I thought I was just being cute putting toilet paper on the wall."
 
The piece in the Park Street gallery comprises an entire 24-roll pack of toilet paper strung out to create waves. It is part of Klein's "Uber Waves: Other Locations" exhibit that opened March 7.
 
Gallery owner Bill Riley said the piece was installed before COVID-19 really hit. He said the coronavirus pandemic has changed how everybody lives their lives with social isolation and new hardships. 
 
That's inspired the artist and gallery owner to sell off the paper rolls to raise money for the Berkshire Food Project. 
 
"When it came out people were hoarding things and there was a shortage," Riley said in an interview Thursday. "Henry saw an opportunity to turn something that appeared decadent into a positive."   
 
Riley said the rapid changes have lead the gallery to do things it hadn't done before to reach people, such as live-streaming Klein talking about the his work.
 
"The coronavirus has changed our lives so now we are in a world where we are having to adapt and making this live video is something that we have never considered before," he said. "So it has pushed us at the same time so hopefully we can keep ourselves healthy and not be too heavily affected by the illness itself."
 
Klein said the piece really has a new meaning now that COVID-19 has effected so many lives.
 
"Now it speaks to preparedness," he said.
 
Riley agreed and said COVID-19 really changed the context of the piece. 
 
"For Henry it was very profound. Part of the original statement was that toilet paper was taken for granted and that it really wasn’t an art material," he said. "Almost saying you can make art out anything and all of a sudden the context changes. It becomes something of vital importance and it is not taken for granted anymore.
 
"It kind of increased the energy around the piece." 
 
Each roll costs $25 and they hope to be able to raise about $600 -- plus whatever else people are kind enough to kick in. Rolls can be ordered by contacting the gallery on Facebook or calling 1-917-440-2400.
 
Those who donate will receive a letter from the artist thanking them.
 
Klein has also asked that, if possible, the cardboard roll cores be returned to him so he can create another piece.
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