The Boombox Project

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Galerie LeRoyer is presenting Lyle Owerko’s “The Boombox Project” until October 31st.

The Boombox Project is a deeply impressionistic interpretation of the history of the Boombox – an iconic device of the 80’s that not only conveyed the anthems of a generation but also now serves as a symbol of defiance and rebellion. Initially Lyle started out as a Boombox collector – however as his collection grew, as an artist, the spark went off inside of him that he wanted to see these things large and in a massively reinterpreted scale – hence “The Boombox Project” was born! A book and a touring art show. The biggest inspiration for working on the project was for Lyle to approach it from the perspective of a creative anthropologist; to unearth this forgotten historical gem and celebrate its significance on youth culture. Lyle says that he was definitely fueled by a lot of inspiration such as music from the era (Run DMC, LL Cool J, The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite – hardcore, hip-hop, metal, new wave etc…) – however visually he wanted to render the objects in their used state of presence, to amplify the beat-up nature of their personalities. Lyle turned to a lot of films such as Ridley Scott’s Alien (which Ridley once described as “truckers in space”) as well as the visage of the “Millennium Falcon” in the first Star Wars films – Owerko wanted to show off the battle scars and elemental nature of these sonic beasts, to celebrate their somewhat steampunk quality - as well as the fact that they lived a well worn life. The whole idea of the project is compressed in to celebration of youthful innovation and free speech – many artists from the era talk in the book about how Boomboxes allowed them to escape repression, to get their voice heard, to be noticed and understood (and if not understood at least not ignored). The one thing that might set this project apart from anything else out there is it has an immense gravity in urban history, this is not a hollow statement, this project is about youthful innovation and the symbol of a generation that still echoes amongst our society even today…

Here are a selection of work presented during the show