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Cigarettes are rarely ever associated with beauty. Certainly in the past they were glamourized, but happily and people are beginning to see quite clearly their highly detrimental effect. Or you’re in Singapore, where gore imagery (*cue unborn dead fetus, mouth full of rotting teeth etc) are used on cigarettes boxes to deter smokers from the vice. There’s really nothing to celebrate about cigarettes.

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But now and then, someone like Robert Larson comes along and gives us a different perspective to things. Larson spends hours walking around his hometown of Santa Cruz, California, scavenging for discarded cigarette packs and other ephemera in order to create his stunning geometrical collages. The consistent grid of the items, be it shiny packaging or used matches, gives a sense of the systemic nature of urban life, while their individual treatment – worn by weather or use – sustains a sense of individual experience.

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I find Larson’s work interesting because I could not land any negativity on his work, largely due to how beautiful and pretty it looks. He could have gone all the way and made something really depressing about it but I mean come on, we all know the effects of smoking and the damage it can cost. So does that mean we need go on about it?

That said, its what that can be derived from something so depressing and made beautiful. That in my opinion is more commendable.

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