Born in Santa Rosa, Lucien Shapiro is an American sculptor who intricately transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically beautiful relics, compelling viewers to re-evaluate the purpose and value of everyday possessions. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture from AAU in 2003.
Dancing between life and death, Lucien Shapiro’s art is rife with found objects, textures, cast forms, manipulations, raw substances, oddities and multiple personalities. Treating forgotten objects and memories as treasure, he creates a kingdom under which new life is born through sculpture. Urban Obsessions explores both artist’s and viewer’s perception of identity, addiction, and time.
Composed of elaborately constructed masks and ornately armored weaponry, this collection of works examines a relationship between modern waste and memories of ancient cultural artifacts. Practices and customs from the past are brought back to light through Shapiro’s revival of discarded materials, transformed into objects analogous with self-protection. Behind masks and armor, we’re enabled with the power to separate and shield ourselves from reality, creating new identities through a deliberate opposition of our true selves. Urban Obsessions tangibly relates the past’s and present’s ritualistic escape from stress, pain and even love.
Utilizing raw materials correlated to various forms of addiction such as drugs, violence, and collections, Shapiro’s sculptures embody the act of compulsive preoccupation. Through his own addiction to the process of painstaking repetition and meticulousness of his craft, we are presented with works that challenge preconceived notions of habits, impulses, and dependencies. Evident in his art is an acceptance of whatever result would come from the consolidation and manipulation of numerous imperfections.
In today’s day and age, the ease at which information and products are made available has led to a continual state of over-consumption. Everyday items have become neglectfully disposable, and there is an immediate desire for what’s new and what’s next. Shapiro’s work, a laborious craft and meditative consumption of time, transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically interesting and beautiful relics that compel viewers to re-evaluate what our everyday possessions represent and mean to us. Shapiro invites us to slow down, to not only gain appreciation for the artifacts that tell a story about who we are in this day and age, but to find inspiration in the value of time and craft.
Some notable previous exhibitions of Lucien Shapiro’s work include: Vessel at Guerrero Gallery, Natural Balance at New Image Art, Skull Show at Bedford Gallery, Two at Compound Project and These Friends at THIS Los Angeles.