Robi Walters and Leanne Wright: Bless-ed

by Ariston Anderson


Artists Robi Walters and Leanne Wright joined forces after meeting in London in 1991, designing album covers for prominent underground dance labels and producers including Giles Peterson, Bebel Gilberto and Carl Craig. After moving back to Leanne's native Canada in 2004, their art began to reflect the changing nature of the music business.

In their new show Bless-ed at the newly founded Dapper Dan Gallery in New York, they’re presenting a series of collages made from smashed records. While most music purists would panic at the sacrilege of destroying a classic album like Michael Jackson's Off the Wall or Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, the artists obliterated the artifacts to turn them into something beautiful. The result is a series of collages that create something new from the materials, each resembling some kind of new gemstone. Both a statement on the changing technology of music, from record to MP3 and a deeply personal collaboration, the upshot is nothing short of mesmerizing.


The second part of their show involves collages and paper constructs made from discarded advertising materials. Based on the petal shape (called Vesica Piscis), one of the root forms of geometry, the form takes on a floral shape. Their ability to transform old objects into works that are shiny, new and seemingly priceless is again apparent in this series. It's a body of work that is not to be missed in their first brief New York show before it continues on to London this summer.

Dapper Dan Imperial Gallery
Private Viewing: 28 May 2009, 7-11pm
27-31 May 2009, 12-5pm
139 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10011 map
tel. +1 917 627 9558 (Call for appointments outside the listed times.)

See another image after the jump.