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Artist Carves Incredibly Accurate Fast-Food Kitchen Exclusively Out of Wood

‘Carcass’ is an odd name for a kitchen, don’t you think? But this isn’t a regular kitchen we’re talking about. It’s a diorama on view at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago. This happens to be artist Roxy Paine’s first solo show, ‘Apparatus’. Carcass is the full-scale replica of a real fast-food kitchen that Roxy made entirely out of wood.

The details of the kitchen are incredible – order screens, cash registers, deep fryers, soft-drink dispensers and stacked up containers for burgers and fries, all made of wood. There’s something very attractive about the neat, clean lines and the monochromatic appearance. Makes me want to reach into the photographs and touch the all-wood kitchen.

The absence of flashy logos lends the diorama a very gaunt appearance, something like that of an empty shell, hence the name ‘Carcass’. The large-scale model is entirely carved out of birch and maple wood and formed from steel. Roxy’s work is significant, according to Kavi Gupta gallery, because he has challenged the perception of visual language and how it affects the understanding of our environments.

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Roxy has been in the business of sculpting wood since the early 1990s. In the past, he has been highly acclaimed for his synthetic replicas of organic forms such as fungi and trees, intricately executed with impressive mastery and ingenuity. Interestingly, Roxy uses computer-driven machines that are programmed to auto-produce art. This presents quite a paradox to his type of art.

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The second installation of the show is called ‘Control Room’. It depicts an extraordinarily detailed collection of switches and knobs in a control center, with a function that is not known.

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“With Apparatus, Roxy Paine introduces a new chapter in his work, a series of large scale dioramas,” the gallery’s website notes. “Inspired by spaces and environments designed to be activated via human interaction, a fast-food restaurant and a control room, the dioramas present spaces and objects which are encased and frozen in time, void of human presence, making their inherent function obsolete.”

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“Rooted in the Greek language, diorama translates as ‘through that which is seen’, a definition that has evolved throughout time as dioramas became conventionally known as physical windowed and encased rooms used as educational tools. These dioramas are not intended to be specific or accurate replicas, but merely gestures of their real-life inspirations.”

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According to the artist himself: “They are translations from one visual language to another.”

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