Robert Lazzarini is best known as a sculptor. But that is actually an oversimplification of what he does. Walking the line between reality and illusion, Lazarrini creates compound distortions of common objects, challenging perception and what we understand to be the limits of the material world.
Lazzarini’s works are not mere deformities. Using mathematical distortions and algorithm-based operations, such as mappings and translations, Lazzarini bases his alterations in reality. Along the same lines, he chooses to fabricate the warped objects in their true material. A skull is made of reconstituted bone, a hammer of wood and steel, etc. This intense attention to detail is important to Lazzarini. Earlier this year he and his team attempted to create a series of broken liquor bottle sculptures. Despite consulting MIT experts and Dale Chihuly’s team the project was sidelined because it was too difficult to realize. Such dedication and through research are major components of Lazarrini’s artistic practice. Part of this obsessive thoroughness is his desire is to eliminate art-specific materials from his work. In doing so the viewer’s experience is completely different. There is a sense of authenticity, which makes the distortion all the more extraordinary.
Violence is another component of Lazzarini’s work and it extends beyond the fact that he chooses to work with guns, bullets, knives and skulls. The objects themselves are disturbing, and the way they exist in our visual field is also disquieting. We so want to make sense of them, to right the disfiguration so that we can easily understand them. Ultimately though, Lazzarini’s works completely refuse that possibility, making them all the more compelling.
Catch Lazzarini’s latest show, jam shot, at Dittrich & Schlechtriem in Berlin up now through November 2.