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Illumination Devices

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Spenser Little

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July 18, 2020 - September 20, 2020

360 virtual tour by Birdman

Presented in collaboration with Thinkspace Projects, Los Angeles

Spenser Little is a self-taught artist who has been bending wire and carving wood for almost 20 years, allowing his creativity to morph into images that range from simple wordplay to complex portraits. He has related his wire work to a mixture of playing chess and illustration, as the problem-solving component of the work is what continues to inspire himself to create larger and more complex pieces. Some works contain moving components and multiple wires, but mostly the pieces are formed from one continuous piece of wire that is bent and molded to Little’s will. He has left the wire sculptures all over the world, in locations that range from the Eiffel Tower to the bottom of caves, their location selected with little discernment, only for the piece to be finally realized at the moment that someone discovers the surprise piece of art.

Little has taken part in numerous POW! WOW! mural festivals in the past few years, which has exposed his work to an entire new audience via their network of art sites/blogs and having his work shared all over the world including the likes of the Antelope Valley (Lancaster, California); Long Beach, California; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Honolulu, Hawaii; Israel; and San Jose, California.

Regarding his new body of work, Spenser shares “To me, all art is a form of illumination devices. For this exhibition I have built a new series of mixed-media kinetic lamps. The lamps serve as bright facades for inner, hidden chambers. Looking through their constantly closing and opening doors, viewers are offered a peak at what makes them tick. Like the different layers we develop throughout our lives, we only allow certain people to see our most inner workings, while the majority are only able to see our polished exteriors. The lamp building process begins with the wood carving of the central character's head. I then weld a round bar frame for the outline of the body. I don’t put much forethought into where the design will go, aesthetic or engineering wise, which allows me to adapt any spontaneous idea during the build. Once I have the legs and body welded out and sized to the wooden head, I begin to problem shoot the kinetic portion of the build. Which is the unnatural part for my purely sculptor’s brain. Once all of the kinetic components are complete, I clean and bake the paper skin on the lamp, allowing them to come to life.”

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