Hovering between conceptual art and functional design, Los Angeles-based artist Eddy Sykes creates unique and unexpected objects. Playful and exacting, his work makes expert use of a startling array of materials and fabrication techniques. Trained as an architect with an emphasis in engineering, he has had numerous public and private art commissions as well as solo exhibitions. He has also collaborated with award-winning architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, designing automated kinetic architecture.

 

from The New York Times

Oct. 30, 2008

"Eddy Sykes is an architect by training. But he’s also a jack-of-all-trades, a cross between a mad scientist and a garage tinkerer. In “Yakuza Lou,” an installation that is on view until the end of February at Materials+Applications — an outdoor nonprofit space in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles — Sykes pulls out all the stops. In exploring a new type of surface manipulation with a firm footing in real-world materials and construction methods, Sykes began with something as pedestrian as a mailbox reflector: when deconstructed, it reveals a complex geometry of truncated pyramids and faceted jewel-like textures. “Yakuza Lou” (don’t ask: the name is still a mystery) consists of two parts: a ground-hugging element that, through robotics, becomes a geodesic dome with colored and grass-filled facets; and a more ethereal (albeit made of metal) “cloud” that expands and contracts overhead. To achieve the complex folded surfaces of the two elements, Sykes and his small team looked at lots of things — from crumpled paper to quilts to the pattern on a stick of chewing gum — until they landed on an origami tessellation (think of those folded paper fortune-telling games) that was developed in the ’70s by a Canadian mathematician. I visited Sykes in his studio during the last week of testing and was amazed to learn that the team had made everything from scratch, including the thousands of nuts and bolts and other parts that make up the piece. Visit M+A to see “Yakuza Lou” in action, and keep an eye on Eddy Sykes, who could well be his generation’s answer to Buckminster Fuller."


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