Artist Kip Pasta’s “construction sculptures” are wooden abstract towers that resemble futuristic high-rise condominiums. They also resemble the structures that crop up from the map of the Known World during the opening credits of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Alas, Pasta has been building the sculptures for about 15 years, and he’s never seen the show. “But I suppose I should be flattered,” he says.
Pasta formerly built three-dimensional architectural miniatures that were shallow enough to serve as wall hangings. They were incredibly detailed, but too labor intensive. He calculated his hourly wage on a commissioned project to be roughly 64 cents an hour. For a reproduction of the Wrigleyville fire station on Waveland, he individually cut and put each tiny brick into place. He rethought his affinity for exactitude when he saw a Jackson Pollock painting in person. “It struck me what abstract art can do,” he says. “I wondered, ‘Can I do that three-dimensionally?'”
He compares his more recent medium to a treasure hunt: he lays out hundreds of pieces of scrap wood and begins putting together modules which he eventually connects to create towers that can grow taller than six feet. He spends between 100 and 300 hours on each. “You have to be very passionate about it and really want to do it because of the labor time involved,” he says. Pasta currently has two pieces at Baan Home (5053 N. Clark) in Andersonville.