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Exhibit features old stuff made new again

In this computer-driven world, many people would simply throw away an old typewriter. But Jeremy Mayer gave 60 of them a whole new life when he used their parts to build a full-size female nude sculpture. Mayer’s work, and that of seven other innovative artists, is now featured in the “Reconstructed” exhibit at La Jolla’s Device Gallery.

“A lot of hours and intricate work go into creating such pieces,” said Amy Brotherton, co-owner of the gallery. “Jeremy’s full-figure pieces take him up to 1200 hours.”

According to Amy, Mayer assembled the sculpture by using a process called cold assembly. Instead of using glue or welding, he used the original pins and screws from the old typewriters to assemble the piece.

When Amy and her husband, Greg, a commercial artist, opened their gallery last July, they wanted to showcase work exemplifying craftsmanship influenced by technology, pop culture, machines and science. Amy handles the day-to-day business of operating the gallery while Greg, who used to do motion graphics for such films as the Academy Award-winner “Crash,” creates figurative and abstract pieces that incorporate found objects in their design.

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“Greg’s work has an industrial edge,” Amy said. “He made a Minotaur out of a Kirby vacuum. He uses old gears, surplus lenses and has quite a few kinetic pieces that move.”

The couple admires sculptural assemblage work and handmade things, so their gallery features many found-object works.

“There are a lot of people doing this kind of work, which I call green sculpture, because everything in it is re-used,” Amy said. “We wanted to do something that we were passionate about that we could share with our son, and we thought the gallery would be a wonderful business.”

The other artists’ works also show skillful imagination. Bay Area artist, Paul Loughridge, uses found objects to build his works that include a 14-inch high robot riding a skateboard. Michael Libby’s art has an entomological edge. He dismantles dead insects then incorporates watch parts on them. His beetle and butterfly pieces sell for $700-$1,100. Maryland-based artist Chris Bathgate hand casts metal abstract sculptures that are based on mathematics.

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“They’re very complex,” Amy said. “For Bathgate, it’s all about the process and problem solving as he figures out how to build these complex machines.”

San Diego artist, Matt Devine, works in steel and stainless steel to create large metal sculptures and wall hangings. Kentucky-based Kris Faller is showing the metal tree sculptures (12-to-18-inches) that he fashioned out of found objects and metal wires.

A closing reception for this exhibit will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 31.

“Mass Destruction,” another group show, is next up for the gallery.

“We don’t have a set date yet and it’s pretty wide open as to how each artist wants to interpret it,” Amy said. “You might see some things about war or the impact on the environment.”

‘Reconstructed’

  • On exhibit through Feb. 1
  • Device Gallery
  • 7881 Drury Lane, La Jolla
  • (858) 454-1301

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devicegallery.com