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Dante Dentoni - Filling The Gaps

Words:

Edd Norval
October 16, 2018

There are few universal truths. One of them is that everyone loves Lego. There's something about the coloured blocks that make adults become children again. It reignites their imaginations and it knows no language barriers.

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A video of his intricate installations went viral earlier in the year in the home of a Miami club-owner. The work features a stripper dancing on a pole, a series of toilet cubicles and a unique take on an NWA album cover. Dentoni's pop-art pieces have their finger on the pulse whilst also drawing inspiration from cultural artefacts of the past.


His Instagram bio offers a small insight into his work, "I create art in difficult places" he says, which is exactly what he does, and some. The pieces are often housed in broken walls and fill up cracks as if the house itself is decaying and revealing its coloured-brick foundation.


Seeing his installations emerge from the walls is to be taken into a time machine back to your childhood. The little narrative pockets are like an insight into lives going on parallel to ours. The lego figures seem to exist in their own world with its own dynamics, going by their daily lives behind the facades that we have built. We imagine this of rats, mice and spiders, but when we see it with Lego figures, our existence feels much more safe and secure. Our childhoods have moved with us.

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Something that resonates throughout all of his creations is the positivity in what he does. It's fun, uplifting and transformative - that's for both artist and onlooker. Dentoni clearly loves what he does and that echoes through his installations and is similarly a substantial part of our fascination with them. They offer a feeling as much as something incredible to look at.


A former carpenter, he has applied these skills to his new medium of expression, giving him the upper-hand in the perspectives he is able to take in the houses he embellishes with his work. Being somewhat 'classically trained' in working with his hands, he employs a workman's discipline and attention-to-detail to his artistic tendencies. To allow his ideas to manifest, he must have an understanding of the structural nuances of the buildings he works on.


It's a relatively complex process that necessitates exact measurements and the ability to work within the physical confines set-forth by each specific site. Dentoni has allowed his whole life to sharpen to a point - the point is exactly this.

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His childhood in Argentina has drastically shaped what he has done later in life, "I remember so vividly the moment the teacher would spread all the blocks on the floor". This excitement has clearly never gone away. It's something so profound to his life that he has taken it upon himself to share it with others.


As his pieces become increasingly ambitious, he is pushing himself and his clients to try more things. Part of the power is that the pieces are collaborative and also that, as anyone who has ever played with Lego will know, there is no limit to what we can do - as long is there is enough bricks to do it.


With these new opportunities come new challenges. Dentoni is constantly evolving in the style that is so unique to him and his evolution is unfolding in real-time on his social media channels, giving us clues of where it's going - we're invited along for his journey. For now, we are continuously looking forward to see what comes next from Dante Dentoni. There's just something about those bricks, those colours and the way they can make almost anything happen.

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