We live in a society that is constantly upgrading and disposing of the past, something Philadelphia based artist Drew Leshko aims to preserve. With a skilled attention to detail, Leshko miniaturizes the places, vehicles, and machines he encounters into paper sculptures. Recent subjects have included a local strip bar, his grandfather’s 80s camper, iceboxes, and even dumpsters, all replicated to 1:12 standard dollhouse scale with accuracy in cut archival paper and wood. He highlights these symbols of urban life in hopes others can begin to appreciate their every day surroundings. Buildings that are in a state of decay or on the cusp of redevelopment are the ones that catch his eye the most, which he describes as architectural “relics”. -Hi Fructose Magazine
Drew Leshko is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based artist. By carving, cutting, and layering varieties of paper and wood, Leshko creates documentary studies of architecture from his neighborhood in an attempt to create a three dimensional archive of buildings that are in transitional periods. The work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving. Working from observation and photographs, the artist painstakingly recreates building facades from his neighborhood at a 1:12 scale. The scale is familiar for some viewers as standard dollhouse spec; the treatment to the buildings is widely different. The minute detail of his work includes city detritus such as dumpsters and pallets, which are commentary of the same ideas of what is worth preserving. Highlighting quick fixes and simple solutions, Leshko’s work begs the viewer to build their own ideas of why and when these changes had been made. Accumulations of typically overlooked details and minutiae like acid rain deposits and rust become beautiful adornments.
Leshko’s work has been exhibited in London, Berlin, Dublin, Chicago, New York City, Delaware, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Urban Nation Museum (Berlin), the Dean Collection (NYC), West Collection (Philadelphia), and Iron State Development’s corporate collection (Hoboken), and many private collections throughout the country.