Artist Conrad Stojak was taking photographs in his neighborhood one day when he happened to take a closer look at a defunct New York City Parking Meter. He noticed how the domed glass, with its tiny built-in shelf, reminded him of the dioramas he used to make in school. And then he got an idea: why not make use of the literally thousands of disused meters to make a different kind of street art?
Having had some experience as a graffiti artist, and having realized that dressing in all black was not necessarily the way to go, Conrad ventured out at night in florescent clothing like that worn by construction workers, thus hiding in plain sight. With tiny figurines he purchased from a hobby store, he used chopsticks and glue to carefully create dioramas that would tell stories of various aspects of city life.
Overnight, the glue on his tiny figures would dry and he would return with his camera to immortalize the scene forever. The best part about this project is that the artist wasn’t leaving any permanent mark or anything that could be construed as vandalism on private, public or city property.
Looking at photographs of these dioramas encourage endless imaginative extrapolation regarding the story behind these tiny scenes, and there is a printed version of Conrad’s back story on how the project evolved posted along with the photographs at Daugherty Gallery. This is a must-read, as his completely engaging personal story adds great value to his unique artwork, the likes of which I’ve only seen in the photographs of artist Randy Hage.
Conrad’s beautifully framed photographs are also very affordable, each selling for around $300, so they are quite a good investment, as I am sure he is an artist we will be hearing from for a long time. You can find out more about the art of Conrad Stojak at This Link. The exhibit opened on Friday, May 16th and I am not sure how long it will be up, so call the number below to plan your visit accordingly.
The Dougherty Gallery at Crescent Grill is located at 38-40 Crescent Street at 39th Avenue, LIC Queens, NY 11101. Phone 718-729-4040 or Visit Crescent Grill Dot Com for more information or to make a Dinner Reservation.