Nicolas Lobo featured on The Creators Project

November 12th, 2015

Bio-Foam, Kevlar and Carbon Fiber: A Mixed-Media Sculpture Show

By Marina Garcia-Vasquez — Nov 12 2015

Homemade napalm and soy sauce are just some of the materials that Miami-based artist Nicolas Lobo employs in his process-based mixed-media works. In his latest installation, A Modulor Broth, at Gallery Diet, the artist presents a series of six-foot-tall panels that resemble bas-relief sculptures, punctuating colorful contours and silhouettes through shaped molds.

The works critique our industrialized notions of the human body’s contemporary scaled measurements. Lobo himself finds the body in crisis, and his works “respond to trauma or therapy.” He tells The Creators Project [the work is] “interrupting the body-based industrial process and extracting raw material in transitional states. Once I start shaping this material it takes a different path and becomes less about the generic mass-produced body and more about the specific individual body.”

He forms his molds with Bio-Foam (used in the construction of prostheses), PIG® HazMat absorbent cloth, Kevlar, Velcro, and carbon fibers to create modernist panels that are more about the process and subversive statement than the finished product. He says, “I want my work to function at a hyper-dumb level. I don’t think that you can get to hyper-dumb using language to express an idea. So I have ideas, materials, ideas about materials and materials relating to ideas.”

A Modulor Broth is a continuation of Le Corbusier’s “Modulor Man,” where the architect calculated the human form to quantify the space that a man could fill in relation to built edifices and the human form’s material tolerances. Lobos’ Modulor works to “imagine boiling the bones of the Modulor man and to show the broth. The broth is kind of like these transitional industrial materials not soup yet but maybe halfway there.”

The “soup” is thus the metaphor for the artist’s thoughtful musings on the human body as a data set designed by corporations and the military to outline, destroy, and recreate itself in its own image. Lobos’ practice falls in line with relational aesthetics and the Young British Artist school of thought but he says for this body of work, “the lineage I’m interested in would probably be some pre-Duchamp thread where recontextualizing found objects never happened. I want to make things that have very different existential motivations than finished industrially produced objects. I try to make things that contain a very particular human energy. I am interested in accessing the industrial process for raw or transitional materials. Bulk carbon fiber cloth, industrial spill sorbents, scrap aluminum, bio-medical production foam, etc.”

In these panels we see feet and handprints, but the features are merely elemental and abstract. The collection is full of layered meaning in materials. Lobo’s work places the responsibility of meaning back in our hands. What are the body’s limitations, outlined politics, pivotal sources of destruction?

The exhibit is on display through November 25th at Gallery Diet in Miami. Lobo’s work is also on display at Perez Art Museum in Miami through December 13th.

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