Lobo’s research-intensive, process-oriented production begins with deep immersion in a broad spectrum of topics, from fringe subcultures and hidden networks—the Raëlian movement, the Go-Go dance scene, illicit pirate radio—to points of friction within the urban milieu—transnational multi-service shops, illegal drug fabrication sites, informal markets. The list of materials he has employed ranges from grape-flavored cough syrup to play-dough, terrazzo, Napalm, and a defunct soft drink with supposed aphrodisiac qualities.
In recent years, the Miami-based artist has focused on ways in which the human body extends into socioeconomic space, and vice versa within this new series of works by Nicolas Lobo (b. 1979, Los Angeles; lives in Miami).
Commissioned for one of PAMM’s project galleries, The Leisure Pit is a site-based installation encompassing a group of mixed-media sculptures, which the artist cast inside a swimming pool using an experimental process.
The ensemble relates to Lobo’s interest in the intersections among cultural, technological, and corporeal systems of consumption. Lobo’s point of departure is a set of concrete forms derived from massive storm drain components, reduced to human scale. To produce the final sculptures, Lobo interlocks these forms with the molds that he used to make them. The outer shells of these molds comprise another level of imagery, including an outsized pill shape bearing the Versace logo—a reference to a legendary strain of the drug Ecstasy—as well as satellite dishes bearing the imprints of a human hand.
By turning a swimming pool—the epitome of affluent suburban recreation—into a facility for industrial manufacture, Lobo points to the demands of private leisure activities on public infrastructural systems.