Sebastian Lloyd Rees (b. 1986, Stavanger, Norway) studied at Goldsmiths where he received his BA in 2010. Widely known for his ongoing collaboration with Ali Eisa under the moniker Lloyd Corporation, his current practice deals with the appropriation and re-contextualisation of urban surroundings. Hoardings, doors, scrap metal, signage and industrial fragments become part of his artistic language.
Rees’ work might be seen as a form of contemporary archaeology, studying, selecting and eventually seizing found materials from the urban environment. Similar to Roman or Greek murals in museological displays, the elements that Rees isolates depict only fragments of their habitual surroundings leaving what lies in between them to the viewer’s own imagination. However, the process of sourcing found objects is as essential to Rees’ work as their final display. Whether a Portuguese squat in Wandsworth or a construction site in Docklands (both in London), Rees’ practice attempts to reveal the hidden economies latent within the materials that constitute the urban environment, typically overlooked in the flows of everyday life. Consequently his artworks might be seen as a cross section of both the city’s infrastructural and clandestine functionalities.
His role as flâneur strikes a fascinating balance between participation and observation, leaving the viewer with the question of how much artistic intervention is inherent in the works. The recurrent use of basic and ubiquitous elements from the world of construction, such as plywood boards and manufactured doors, are transposed from the realm of commercial industry into the realm of painting. As Rees claims “[…] the best work is work that actually isn’t work but becomes work when you put it into a specific context.” Ultimately in Rees’ practice materials are shifted through various aesthetic and social registers, where the significance and value of the object becomes re-evaluated and loaded with newly acquired meanings.