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Mini Masterpiece Replicas on Display in Tiny Village Gallery

By Andrea Swalec | June 12, 2013 2:23pm | Updated on June 13, 2013 3:30pm
 Artist Matt Chalker used 3D printers to create replicas in which every inch represents one foot.
Mini Art on Display in Mini West Village Gallery
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MANHATTAN — Famous works by Andy Warhol, Piet Mondrian and Jeff Koons are on display on West 10th Street — in tiny imitations created using 3D printers.

An art exhibition that recreates well-known pieces like Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog" and Piet Mondrian's "New York City I" will be shown at a storefront gallery at 223 W. 10th St. near Bleecker Street through Friday.

Chicago artist Matt Chalker, who titled the project "Aura of the Synthetic," copied art-world classics at a 1:12 scale, in which every inch represents a foot.

Co-curator Jennie Lamensdorf said the show, which went on display in mid-May, explores the changing relationship between technology and art.

"Seeing a work of art in reproduction inherently limits the artwork," she said. "But what does it mean now that our technology is so advanced that instead of taking a photo of something, you can recreate it?"

"Aura of the Synthetic" is part of the Art-in-Buildings program run by the real estate investment firm and property management company Time Equities Inc. The company has dedicated space for contemporary artwork since 2006 and currently also has shows open to the public in office buildings at 55 Fifth Ave. and 125 Maiden Lane.

The West 10th Street space is Time Equities' sole storefront-only gallery.

Co-curator Natalie Diaz said the 3-foot-by-3 foot space at street level adds a little grace to the area.

"We see it as contributing a silent gesture to the neighborhood," she said.

Next up for the storefront gallery is an installation made from hundreds of fingernail clippers hung and draped to look like a chain-mail fabric, by city artist Heather Cox. The piece is set to be installed this weekend. 

Chalker, a Chicago resident who works with digital art tools at the Museum of Science and Industry, told Art-in-Buildings that he hopes his replicas can summon some of the same feelings as the original works.

"There is a sort of aura embodied within such exact reproductions," he said.