Dean West & Nathan Sawaya

Overview

In PERNICIEM which is Latin for extinction, the two artist's turn their eye towards the environment and some of its most endangered species.

In 2012, Sawaya and West released their first critically acclaimed project 'IN PIECES' a collaboration of Sawaya's LEGO brick sculptures into West's hyper-realistic photography. Since 2012, the project has been exhibited in over 14 countries in galleries and museums that include The Columbus Museum of Art (2012), Faneuil Hall Museum of Boston (2015), the Paris Expo Porte De Versailles (2015), Puls 5 Gallery in Zürich, and the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York City (2014) to name a few. Collecting awards along the way the project was also added to some of the most prestigious collections of contemporary art, including that of Sir Elton John.

 

In their new collaboration "PERNICIEM" which is Latin for extinction, the two artist's turn their eye towards the environment and some of its most endangered species. Covering five main habitats; oceans, forests, deserts, grasslands and the arctic, the idea is simple- that if we do not collectively act to conserve our planet and its species, then we're left with having to create, an artificial reality. Sawaya's sculptures are built, photographed and rendered into West's photography, emulating a form of augmented reality that references the increasing digitization of our world. The pixelated effect, forces the viewer to consider the past, present and future of our landscape. The effects of climate change, declining sea ice, deforestation, polluted waterways and the illegal wildlife trade, have decimated the numbers of species across the globe pushing many to the brink of extinction. This collaboration forces the viewer to consider their own relationship, with a fast changing world.

 

A percentage of the proceeds will go to NGOs that are on the ground protecting and preserving the beauty and splendor of our world.

Works
Series
Biography

In 2012, Sawaya and West released their first critically acclaimed project 'IN PIECES' a collaboration of Sawaya's LEGO brick sculptures into West's hyper-realistic photography. In their new collaboration "PERNICIEM" which is Latin for extinction, the two artist's turn their eye towards the environment and some of its most endangered species.

Nathan Sawaya is an award-winning artist who creates awe-inspiring works of art out of some of the most unlikely things. His global touring exhibitions, THE ART OF THE BRICK, feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO bricks to be exact. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful.

 

Previously a NYC corporate lawyer, Sawaya is the first person to ever take LEGO into the art world and is the author of two best selling books. His unique exhibition is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on LEGO as an art medium and has broken attendance records around the globe. The creations, constructed from countless individual LEGO pieces, were built from standard bricks beginning as early as 2002.

 

Sawaya is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, recognizing his artwork and cultural achievements. In 2014, with the belief that "art is not optional," Sawaya founded The Art Revolution Foundation for the purpose of making art a priority in our schools and our homes. He is often a featured speaker at events, including Google Zeitgeist, TEDx, and at the Clinton Library.

 


 

 

A wide range of environments and character types are explored in the works of New York City-based Dean West. The Australian-born (1983) artist who studied at the Queensland College of Art, is best known for his intricate and highly staged photographs that take everyday occurrences beyond the realm of natural reality.

 

In 2015 West started working with themes based around memory, recreating moments, either from stories recounted to him by friends, or from his own memories, blurring the boundaries of fact and fiction to gloriously theatrical effect. West’s style is an unusual but utterly compelling method for constructing a photograph. The results are strangely cinematic — like day-to-day situations that have had the animation sucked out of them; oneiric, fantastical set-ups that echo with old school Americana.

 

Dedicated to the vast possibilities of digital photography as both a medium and a cultural epoch, West’s narratives draw inspiration from the total diversity offered by the visual arts. While the tableau photography of Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall inform West’s understanding of photography as a form of contemporary communication, the paintings of David Hockney and Edward Hopper provide evident aesthetic direction. The fictional world of cinema and the functional language of advertising have also clearly left their mark and taught lessons of their own.

 

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