In drawing the world around him, New York based artist Mike Lee conveys a simple and playful essence of his subjects, whether they be people, buildings, or objects. Featured here on our blog, the artist’s intriguing drawings of miniaturized scenes have often been compared to a child’s Playmobil or Lego playsets. In these new versions of his subjects, Lee further simplifies the human form, isolating them from their toy-like environments and focusing instead on finding expression through minimalism.
New York based artist Mike Lee draws tiny, typical urban places that seem to float in negative space. We previously covered his graphite drawings here, mostly portraying an aerial view of a dollhouse-like world. Lee’s latest series, currently on view at Giant Robot’s GR gallery in Los Angeles, pushes the peculiarity of his artworks a little bit further. They still contain simplified spaces populated by chubby Lego-like urbanites, but have been spliced up to a more abstract effect.
Mike Lee draws neat, compact worlds populated by rotund homunculi. Simplified like Lego characters, his small protagonists navigate their urban landscape, which appears so conspicuously tidy that it resembles a toy replica more so than an actual city. Lee’s drawings are small-scale; he utilizes negative space to make viewers zero in on specific scenes. We look into his minuscule world from an aerial view, like a child playing with a doll house or a deity looking down at the unsuspecting mortals on Earth. With his painstaking graphite work, Lee renders the humdrum of the day-to-day with novelty and humor.