Glass Sculptures Use Magazines as Art

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By Rob Colvin
Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Dustin Yellin places the pages of Dwell at the core of his transparent works.

Contemporary works of art—paintings, sculptures, photography, textiles, and multimedia works—populate the pages of Dwell, as art is just as important to many people's lives as well-crafted chairs and tables. But one table has turned, so to speak. Pages of Dwell now populate works of contemporary art.

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Dustin Yellin's glass sculptures use magazine clippings to form human-like shapes. Photo by David Deng.

Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin produces three-dimensional collages made of photographic images excised from magazines, then strategically arranged and encased in layers of thick glass, resulting in picture-rich constellations frozen within transparent forms. When I visited Yellin's studio recently, I noticed a three-person team, who work exclusively in "the cutting room," taking their X-Acto knifes to several issues of Dwell stacked all around them.

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Yellin's studio, located in a Civil War-era warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, houses his contemporary sculptures. Photo by David Deng.

"Dwell, oh yeah. That's a great magazine," Yellin told me, when I noted his sources. He then took me around back, to the wood shop, where these sandwiched-glass forms, some as large as twelve tons, are crated for shipment around the world. This one is "Dwell heavy," he quipped, pointing to "City VIII", a piece consisting of a tornado-like array of architectural structures such as ascending stairs, long wood panelling, and glass wall facades, thrusting in every direction.

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The artist collects clippings from Dwell and other magazines to incase in glass.

Yellin is also the founder of Pioneer Works, a non-profit institute in Red Hook, still being fabricated within a Civil War-era warehouse dedicated to art and innovation of all kinds (a science lab on the third floor sits next to an artist studio, which is adjacent to his likewise-massive studio). He is one ambitious artist, for sure. And now, it seems, an interior architect. 

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Clippings piled up in the cutting room in Yellin's studio.

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Yellin's "City VIII" (2013) features a number of interior scenes excised from the pages of Dwell. Photo by David Deng.

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A detail from "City VIII." Photo by David Deng.