• UO Studio Visits: Drew Leshko

    We are always on the hunt for amazing artists, but once in a while we stumble across someone so unique that it stops us in our tracks. Enter: Drew Leshko. Drew is a Philadelphia-based artist who creates scaled-down sculptures of existing Philadelphia buildings so detailed it's hard to believe you aren't staring at the actual building being modeled. We were able to pay Drew a visit to his studio to check out his work and find out what exactly goes into his work, and where his sculptures will be on display in the coming months.

    How exactly would you explain your work to someone?
    I make architecturally-based, wall-hanging sculptures that are miniature documentary studies of buildings in my neighborhood in Philadelphia. Starting with large sheets of white paper, I cut, fold, carve, layer, and paint the material to achieve the three-dimensional nature of the work.  In a way it feels like collage, as the pieces are "built" on custom-shaped panels. I think of the work as a 3D archive of buildings and businesses in transitional periods, whether they are slated to be razed, or developed into something different.   

    What kind of message are you trying to convey?
    More so than a particular message, I’m attempting to convey an environmental feeling. I’m hoping viewers will think about history, preservation, gentrification, and how aspects of our culture are constantly in flux.  

    How did you get started doing it?
    Nine years ago, I started making miniature sculptures of water towers and silos. I made these sculptures to be the subjects of photographs but quickly decided that I wasn't a very good photographer, so the sculptures became the focus of my work.  

    What is your favorite part of the process?
    My favorite part of the process is distressing the sculptures, which is the last step. Some parts of the process are painfully tedious and take a couple months to complete, but the finishing steps of airbrushing and applying charcoal with a brush are almost therapeutic to me. Finishing a work is a great feeling. 

    What upcoming events / exhibitions will you be featured in?
    I have a huge opportunity at Art Basel Miami weekend and am beyond excited to be a featured artist at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami Beach this December 2nd-7th, presented by Juxtapoz Magazine.   

    Works can now be seen in group exhibitions at the Abington Art Center, north of Philadelphia and at the Berman Museum at Ursinus College. Other than some small group shows coming up, at this point I'm really focusing on my solo Exhibition, "Relics" at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art that opens in late April 2015.

    If you are in the area, definitely try to catch one of Drew's exhibitions—photos do not do his work justice. Check out Drew's website for more of his work, and be sure to follow along on his Instagram account to keep up with what he will be working on next.