Paper sculptor Drew Leshko carves, cuts, and layers paper and wood, in an attempt to recreate the world around him. His intricate sculptures explore the architecture of his neighborhood – a sort of three-dimensional archive of buildings that are in transitional periods. As such, his work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving – a critique about how society is constantly (and most often thoughtlessly) disposing of its past.
“I’ve always been interested in documentary studies in art, capturing moments in time regardless of media,” said the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based artist in an interview with The Daily Mini. “My project with the buildings in my neighborhood is just that, a documentary project or archiving project.”
Working from observation and photographs, Leshko painstakingly recreates building facades from his neighborhood at a 1:12 scale. The minute detail of his work includes city detritus such as dumpsters and pallets. Accumulations of typically overlooked details and minutiae like acid rain deposits and rust become beautiful adornments. “There is something inside of me that pushes me to take on these works, but I can’t identify what that is,” he admits.
“I studied fine art in college and feel that I developed some strong composition and design skills, but honestly the way I work isn’t taught in schools,” says Leshko. His work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collection of the Urban Nation Museum (Berlin) and the Dean Collection (NYC) amongst others.
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