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Playing Real-Life Tetris With Discarded Objects

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Michael Johansson often thinks of his work as real-life Tetris. He works with discarded objects collected methodically from yard sales, flea markets… wherever people are getting rid of their “junk.” It’s the kind of work a hoarder might build if they arranged their object obsessed lives in productive, color and shape coordinated fashion.

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Johansson recently created a series of nearly perfect cubes for a show at The Flat gallery in Milan, Italy. Each of the pieces is constructed using similarly hued rectilinear objects of varying materials – from suitcases, lockboxes, to a vintage wood-paneled hi-fi set. Each is a small taste of his past work – which has occasionally grown to the size of a house or shipping container.

In rearranging these overlooked and sometimes plain objects, Johansson gives them a new life where they can be appreciated once again – this time for something far from their intended use and far more observant of their intrinsic forms.

”I take used objects because they kind of lived a life before I find them,” Johansson tells The Avant/Garde Diaries. “By combining them I almost create a fake history that never happened.”

You can see more of his work, large and small, at michaeljohansson.com.

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