“An Extraordinary Dimension”: Dennis Maher Uses Destroyed Buildings to Create Recycled Art

(Images by Dennis Maher, all rights reserved, reproduced with permission)

Dennis Maher‘s sculptures are stunning pieces of urban art, taken from the least profitable parts of broken down buildings in Buffalo, New York. Wood panelling, linoleum tiles and bedsprings all feature in his work, which holds underlying messages about creation and destruction, and how the waste of abandoned buildings impacts negatively on the environment.

Working as a member of a demolition crew himself, Maher has regular access to more than enough materials for his work. His sculpture, “Profamation”, was created when he persuaded a crew, who were tearing down a house, to move the demolished building fragments to his workshop rather than the landfill.

This focus on the destruction of buildings shows the link between the demolition of urban, often poverty-stricken areas of Buffalo, and how the artistic qualities of the buildings are often forgotten.

“The phenomena of empty houses, burning houses and of demolition sites are all unfortunately regarded as common occurances that are devoid of any kind of enlightening attributes,” said Maher, also an associate architecture professor at the University of Buffalo. “But I think that, through investigating these things, [there exists] some kind of extraordinary dimension, which suggests that there’s maybe more than meets the eye.”

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