LEGO Artist Nathan Sawaya has teamed up with award-winning Aussie photographer Dean West to take LEGO where it has never been before. The project is a series of tableau compositions based on ideas about nature, culture, society and more specifically, identity. Identity as a cultural creation has been heavily commercialized and manipulated, and we prominently portray this through a highly stylized representation of contemporary life. The integration of Sawaya’s unique sculpture is key to the series’ narrative and aesthetic.
Left: “Umbrella”, In Pieces 2012, Chromogenic Print on Kodak Endura, 43.0 x 57.0 inches, edition of 7
Umbrella, In Pieces 2012, Plastic Bricks, 28.0 x 33.0 x 33.0 inches, edition of 7
The images have been constructed using modern photography techniques, combined with specially sculpted LEGO® objects placed within the scenes. The combination not only builds on and accentuates the images’ aesthetic, but also compels the viewer to deconstruct each tableau, thereby exposing elements of the construction of cultural identity itself. Isolated individuals stand in recognizable but chillingly empty minimalist scenes with geometrical design, derived from common features of the American landscape. Their averted eyes gaze into nothingness, and a strange feeling of aloofness and displacement reverberates.
Referencing the aesthetic of the American Postcard in both the style and content- the series has been colour graded with pastels such as warm yellows and pale blues. The imagery, from a distance, appears entirely photographic. However, as the viewer begins to digest the images, the series reveals its brick by brick fabricated construction. The brick by brick, layer-by-layer process also represents the direct process involved with digital photography today with clear references to pixilation and technology.
Avant Gallery presents – IN PIECES – debuting in New York City Thurs, Feb 28 thru Sun, Mar 17 at the Openhouse in SoHo.
More information at www.inpiecescollection.com