Real-Life Tetris With Reclaimed Objects [Pics]

Real-Life Tetris With Reclaimed Objects [Pics]
Arts & Culture

Swedish artist converts everyday items into grand-scale sculptures reminiscent of the classic game.

Daniela Walker
  • 28 january 2013

In cities where space is a commodity, artist Michael Johansson makes use of every square inch, creating Tetris-like installations out of found objects ranging from washing machines, shelves and sinks – to cars, keyboards and computers. His work can be found in between building jams, under steps, squeezed into doors and in garages. The result is colorful 3D puzzles, perfectly formed and astounding to the eye.

To create his sculptures, Johansson must confine his artistic vision to the physical limitations of the space where he can fit his Tetris puzzles. Like the game, he must reconfigure his work, move objects around, upside-down, on their side until the fit is just right. He says:

It is a bit like a game. You take things from real life and you turn them around in different ways so that they finally present an image of something we all recognize but cannot approach or have access to anymore.


Johansson uses discarded objects, what others might consider to be trash, to create his pieces. By painstakingly ordering them in compact installations, he adds to their history as an object:

I take used objects because they have kind of lived a life before I find them. By combining them, I almost create a false history that never happened.

When brought together in one space, the real-life items are transformed from mundane 3D objects into 2D mazes of shapes and color. The way that the objects combine together and create something new is pivotal to Johansson’s  art practice. He says:

You need to combine something very familiar with something very unique to create an interesting art experience.

Johansson’s resulting sculptures are just that: interesting, playful and awe-inspiring. He is the ultimate hoarder who has found an ingenious and artistic means of storing his junk.

Click below to see more examples of his work:

Michael Johansson


+installation art

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