Lego-maniacs - one of the final Little Artists interviews.

The much loved Little Artists, famed for recreating the art world as a toy town, are being killed off by their creators! We talk to John Cake and Darren Neave about their decade of exploring the art world in a fun fashion, what's next and why they told Saathci to leave their lego alone.

So, after all these years The Little Artists are being put to bed. Why' this? The Little Artists was a 'brand' we created to act as an umbrella for a lot of our work, that included 'Art Crazy Nation' (Lego work), 'Taking a Line' (Scalextric) and 'Lick Your Selves' (ice lollies). For us, The Little Artists project has run its course, and that the whole concept was never fully understood.  A lot of the work, especially 'Art Crazy Nation', was relevant about 8 years ago and its context is now well and truly gone.

What's been The Little Artist's proudest moment?

Not sure about proudest moment, but the 'Art Crazy Nation' exhibition in Poznan was probably the only time all of the work was shown in the right context. The curator, Piotr Bernatowicz's take on the work was from a very critical viewpoint, and being Poland, the YBA characters were seen more as artists - less as tabloid celebrities, which gave a good balance to the reception of the work.

The Little Artists have made numerous lego models of figures in the Young British Artist's scene.  Are you poking fun at them? What was your favorite of these?

The work was never about poking fun. It was always deadly serious. We made the 'YBA' artists because they were the figures in what was being promoted as a scene or movement, and this was what was shaping art, how it was made, and how it was received in the UK at that time. This is what we were questioning and being critical of. The most interesting piece is probably not a YBA work but a recreation of the piece by Maurizio Cattelan, where he hung three mannequins of boys from a tree in a square in Milan. The piece didn't last a day as it was torn down by a local resident. (see below pic)

I hear Saatchi is a fan of The Little Artists and collects your work. Do you think it is important to impress the likes of Charles Saatchi or Jay Jopling in order to 'make it'in the art world nowadays?

We're not sure where that came from. Its on a Wikipedia page about us apparently. We've never sold work to Saatchi. There was some dialogue and there was some interest but we told him where to get off. Saatchi and Jopling have not done anything relevant in the art world for ages. We don't care about 'making it' in their particular slice of the art world.

 

 Did you enjoy exhibiting at Decima's recent 'Britain's Rubbishâ' show in Berlin?

We couldn't get across to Berlin, but its always interesting to exhibit with Decima.

How would the Little Artists like to be remembered?

As an interesting critique of the way art was created, perceived and processed for 'Art History'. Definitely not as 'Cool'.

What's next?

We will be launching another new 'brand' in the spring. It will be another umbrella, under which, we will make work that explores similar concepts and concerns to our previous work. It will also be a model to produce work that is less tied in to the traditional art market framework. LB!

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