Fiberglass, Resin, Automotive finish.

42” W x 30.5” H x 11” D

Lyle Owerko - Red Boombox

  • The Boombox Project is an ever evolving exploration of the boombox as a cultural icon. Born in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the project was conceived of with the intention of highlighting the positive, creative aspects of humanity, rather than focusing on the negative. “This endeavor was born out of the desire to explore the world with the eye of a journalist through a tactile metaphor of community, gathering, spark and youth ­ how music brought people together, and through the friction of ingenuity birthed new ideas, movements and creation.” The Boombox Project collects tangible evidence of a time in history when musical styles were diverse but found a unified home, played through the portable speakers of the “sonic campfire” known as the ghetto blaster. Like an urban archaeologist, Owerko collected and documented these relics of the late 1970s and early ‘80s, compiling them into a photographic series as well as a book by the same name, The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground, which features memories from some of hip ­hop’s most influential artists: Fab 5 Freddy, Rosie Perez, Kool Moe Dee, LL Cool J, Lisa Lisa, DJ Spooky, and Adam Yauch to name a few.

    Working with the Fine Art Department of Los Angeles design studio Pretty in Plastic, Owerko has reimagined the series through the fabrication of large ­scale sculptures. This latest incarnation of The Boombox Project brings the celebration of youth culture, free speech and empowerment into three dimensions. In the wake of continuing world terrorism, never have these ideals been more important. In response to the recent attacks on Paris, Owerko displayed the series as a reflection of the French flag — blue, white, and red. “In representing these ideals sculptures were the next natural evolution of this endeavor, and through this past week we gathered around these objects, sparking out new ideas, incubating paths to what comes next…In honor of all my French friends both near and far we made a sonic tribute last night before we started crating up the show. Much respect, love and support to those who are grieving and search of peace; art, music and creativity is the way forward .”