New York sculptor Robert Lazzarini investigates hyperrealism, but his use of skewed perspective offers a new interpretation of familiar objects such as a violin, a chair or a hammer. Fabricated with amazing veracity, yet extremely distorted, these ubiquitous objects appear to be pulled by some strange effect of gravity. Modeled on actual objects found in the artistís studio or the urban landscape, the sculptures are fabricated from actual wood, metal, plastic and bone, and are finished so that they bear the imprint of use.
This exhibition will contain 10 of Lazzariniís significant sculptures. The earliest piece, violin, is based on a rare 1693 Stradivarius, representing the technical perfection of a hand-built instrument. Phone booth, Lazzariniís tour-de-force sculpture of a 1980s-era Bell Atlantic payphone, was first presented at the Whitney Museum of Art. The artist employs mathematical distortion to create an expressive quality that is at once haunting and iconic. His perplexing objects evoke a strange sensation as the viewer tries to rectify their unsettling distortions, defying the world of physical objects as we know it.
Lazzarini uses digital technology to create these compelling objects. Beginning with a digital scan of the object, he manipulates and distorts the image by using a computer-assisted design program. Lazzarini exhausts many possibilities in determining how the sculpture will exist as an image as well as a tangible object. Once he decides upon the configuration, he then translates the two-dimensional design into the virtual geometry of the object. This creates a three-dimensional model using rapid prototyping, a method of computer-generated model-making. These models serve as the basis for the final sculptures which Lazzarini fabricates. The fabrication process can involve collaborating with as many as 45 different fabricators, as was the case in creating phone booth. Lazzarini then oversees the assembly of the separate parts and painstakingly finishes the sculpture by hand, so that the intense industrial process is balanced with a handmade aspect.
VantagePoint is the Mint Museum of Artís ongoing series of contemporary exhibitions emphasizing the range of exploration and new developments in recent art practice.