New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix may be the best recurring feature in any magazine currently being published. It’s simple, smart, and consistently good: It’s the best. A few weeks back, the Matrix featured “artist Andrew Lewicki’s Louis Vuitton Waffle Maker” as lowbrow approaching highbrow, millimeters away from being brilliant. We noticed the inclusion but didn’t think anything of it until it was posted on Otis’ Tumblr: Lewicki is an Otis alum and working artist based in Los Angeles. Who knew?!
Lewicki got his BFA from Otis in 2007 and has been showing in and around Los Angeles for since graduating. He is a multi-discipline artist who makes sculptures, paintings, installations, and more. He finds himself making objects that have a lot of wit and references to them, landing his art as visual meditations on common imagery in culture. The Louis Vuitton Waffle Maker is a perfect example of his work: it’s funny, it’s well made, it appeals to many, and it gives a sharp commentary and criticism on this designer obsessed mindset many are in. It cleverly points out the relationship between a waffle maker’s print and LV’s iconic pattern, too.
Many who caught Lewicki’s inclusion in the Matrix likely didn’t investigate the artist’s work, thinking he may be some fashion focused recycler. We admit guilt of that when we read the Matrix a few weeks back. Flipping through Lewicki’s body of work, you find that he has been working in this area for years now and each of his pieces are equally as sharp tongued. For example, above is a clever homage to guitarist Les Paul and the popular guitar made in his honor, stripped down to a raw form of the guitar. It is titled Less Paul. Below is one of his Counterpanes, quilts puzzle pieced together and constructed from high fashion scarves to make crafty, suburban, grandma blankets (that–duh–are now fine art). y=x2 (at bottom), Accordion Obscura, gold oro or, and more provide smilar absurdist reactions to everyday items and mash them together with analogous imagery. More than culture mashing, Lewicki unites one visual statement to another. He asks viewers, “Don’t you find the similarities interesting and funny? I thought they were.”
We’re super glad that an awesome, young LA artist got some big and complimentary recognition on the Approval Matrix. How flattering! We hope that more readers of New York Magazine are smarter than us as we glossed over the inclusion with an “Oh, cool.” instead of investigating the artist’s work further. For more on Lewicki, check out his website.