The Underground, 2020, Painted paper, inkjet prints, wire, pastel, 4 1/2” x 7 1/2” x 3 1/2”
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, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Delaware, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Houston, and Miami. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Dean Collection (NYC), the Hosner Collection (LA), West Collection (Philadelphia), and Iron State Development’s corporate collection (Hoboken), Urban Nation Museum (Berlin), and many private collections throughout the country.