Dean Millien’s “Tin Things”
If you’ve been to Dumbo you may already be familiar with the LAND storefront studio and gallery. LAND is a program of the League Education & Treatment Center, which features the work of artists living with disabilities. It is an amazingly fertile environment, run by the fantastic Matthew Murphy. If you’ve passed by, you’ve also likely stopped in front of the large windows and smiled to yourself after seeing Dean Millien’s menagerie. He calls the series “tin things” because they are all (expertly!) made from aluminum foil. I first saw these a few years ago, and promised that one day I would assemble a post, because my affection for them has never wavered. Dean has been making these creatures since he was a child, and you can tell! With amazing accuracy and humor, he manages to capture both the essence of the animals’ gestures as well as their underlying anatomy. The pieces pictured here are quite small, but he works in a full range of sizes. Pay a visit to the gallery and check out the larger than life-size gorilla! And, while you’re there, definitely make sure to peruse the work of all the other exceptional artists.