Brian Tolle

Chiaroscuro, USA, 2008

Plexiglas, plywood, platinum and silicon rubber 51/47/47 cm

Courtesy of Alice and Thomas Tisch, USA

In his work, Brian Tolle reacts to the stereotypic and reproduced character of post-World War II architecture in the US. Formally identical suburban homes seem like replicas and emphatically reflect a serial thinking that leaves no room for the individual to express his or her personal ambitions and dreams. Tolle criticizes the inability of the individual to keep his or her identity in a reality in which he or she are fettered by external solid definitions and dictates to which they obey with neither employing their own judgment and self-criticism nor expressing their personal taste. The home as a reflection of one’s personality does not exist any more. The home qua independent creation defining the individual’s nature and identity no longer exists; it has become a mold representing the nature and identity of a community, a society and the state as a whole. Brian Tolle’s replicated homes are silicon ones; tiny models of Long Island residential neighborhood’s houses incorporating elements of this duplicated architecture and emphasizing the struggle between conformity and personal identity. By squeezing his homes into Perspex boxes, he further highlights the deformation they undergo and their essentially mass-produced quality.

All that is left is to find out whether light vanquishes obscurity in his work entitled “Chiaroscuro” (a common art term depicting passages between light and shade).