Alex Lockwood is one of the artists participating in the "Found in Brooklyn Group Art Show" currently hanging up at Freddy's Backroom. He submitted a few attention grabbing pieces made out of found scratch-off lottery tickets that I have gotten many questions about. I did a little Q & A with Alex to shed some light on his scratch-off obsession!
What propelled you to start picking up lottery tickets? Did you become obsessed with it or is it more of a leisurely activity?
For the past few years I've been picking a lot of material up off of the street. I was in Williamsburg when I started to do it. Then I moved to Clinton Hill and I noticed lottery tickets all over the place, especially around the bodegas on Fulton and Clinton and Waverly between Greene and Lafayette. I started by incorporating them into collages, but I wasn't that happy with the results. Then I started to cut them up and use the pieces in my illustrations. The bird in the show is one of the first of those. After a while I had quite a stash - one of the pieces in plexi uses 300 tickets, the other about 375.
At some point I began to get into tramp and prison art. I especially like prison art - cigarette pack bags, matchstick crosses, toothpick models of ships -because of the limitation of available material and the detail and focus on one task. I can work obsessively on one project for many hours. Its is not a purely pleasant or relaxing experience. Sometimes there's a nice flow, sometimes my brain gets ugly. But regardless of that it is satisfying.
How long did it take you to do those 2 pieces in the plexi boxes?Its hard to say how long it took to make those. The collecting takes a few seconds a day over many months. I walk a lot so when I pass a bodega I pay attention to the street. When I'm in a liquor store with scratch-offs I usually find a pile in the trash can. The time to fold was different for the two pieces. When I started the smaller one (on the left at the show) I knew the technique well, the number of ticketsI needed, the arrangement I wanted. So it was one long day, morning to night, to cut (6x4 tickets need to be cut, 4x4 tickets don't), fold each and fold them into the others. The piece on the right came together slowly because I was figuring everything out as I went along.
How long have you been doing art? Did you go to art school?
I didn't go to art school. I've been taking pictures for years but have never been that satisfied with my work. I began working in collage maybe 5 years ago. The two pieces in plexi are my first sculptures.
Do you play lottery yourself?
If someone buys me a ticket.
Well, I suppose finding all those losing tickets is enough to make anyone doubt the odds!
The show will be hanging up at Freddy's for another couple of weeks. Do stop in between the hours of 11 am to 4 am, 7 days a week to see the whole thing. Take a look at Alex Lockwood's website to see more of his fine work.
Freddy's Bar & Backroom
485 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
That's the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.