“I did...Circular Split”
Map on painted skate deck, 80 x 21 x 15 cm, Limited Series
with electrics and light bulb, £1200
without electrics and light bulb £800
Andrew Wenrick is an American, Architect and Artist based in London. Most, of the conceptual work that Andrew does relies on some sort of medium that has strong nostalgic qualities, and maps play a large part in his work. The use of maps and the fact that he really enjoys working with maps comes from his childhood Summer holidays. Both of his parents were school teachers and had the Summers free so on many, many occasions the family of five would all pile into their Volkswagen van and travel for weeks. But before these trips, there was always the necessary visit to the local shop for maps! They used to come back with loads of them. They were great, brand new, which didn’t last long because no one lacked the skills and patience to fold them back properly. But that wasn’t the point. The point was seeing where they were going and where they were coming from and all the places that they could go but most likely won’t.
So maps, yes. But maps on skateboards?! How did he get here? He must have been building up to this, subconsciously, and it seems a natural fit actually.
Like a lot of kids growing up in sunny Los Angeles in the 70’s, skateboarding was the thing to do. All through the neighborhood, to his friends houses and also around the local university buildings (and sometimes inside them).
Around that time there was a well known skate park called The Pipeline that he and his friends would go to on occasions to browse all the cool gear in the shop and watch the more experienced riders dipping in and out of the bowls. The peak of his skating days came only after a few trips to The Pipeline. All it took was one go in the bowls and that resulted in a broken arm. And that was it for him and skateboarding, but the nostalgia still lives on.
In 2019 Andrew had a solo show at the Claremont Museum of Art in Los Angeles. In that exhibition, a third of the works were maps on skateboards. Some with electric lights and some without. These pieces were directly inspired by the railroad switching lights that were all along the train tracks in Southern California.
Here is a small expert taken from this Museum exhibition:
“In his work, Andrew Wenrick deconstructs geography and then reconstructs and restructures fragments into new realities. As he points out, the single most important identifying quality of geography is shape. When familiar boundaries are altered, ambiguity results, a blurring of the relationships that allow us to locate and ground ourselves. The result is deliberate ambiguity and, for the viewer, thought-provoking perceptual shifts.
Since the industrial revolution, and particularly in our age of sophisticated communications technology, the world has come to feel not only smaller but also seamless. Photographs of earth from space reinforce this truth, as the imagined hard outlines around cities, states, and countries become less distinct in our minds. We are global citizen, an abstract concept but one that we can now better visualize, and that, one hopes, will lead us to strive toward collective goals.
In practice, Wenrick’s acrylic and paper constructions involve, cutting, layering, and reshaping familiar map images, place names, and symbols into unexpected configurations. Accepted geographical “truths,” both physical and experiential, are questioned as the seen and the unseen are laid out before us, challenging our preconceptions about place and opening our minds to untapped potential.”