Los Angeles

David Lewandowski and the Art of Absurdity

In partnership with Half Cut Tea
Half Cut Tea is a two person team that travels the country looking for artists and telling their stories through short documentary films.

By Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long

The video starts with an empty shot of a generic, city sidewalk. In the background, the swell of an upbeat song fills your speakers. Before you can fully process it, a strange, androgynous, naked man walks into frame. His movements are over-the-top and impossible. As the video progresses, his posture and walk begin to deform even more until it reaches its apex as the man lays vertically on the steps of a parking-lot flailing uncontrollable.

This strange, short and semi-anonymous video was all we knew of David Lewandowski before meeting him. David had kept a very low profile online. There was very little information about the man behind this video other than a portfolio website featuring a few of his music videos with an "about" section expressing his love of sweet tea.

We sent him an email and within a few days, we met up at his house. Instantly, it was clear there was more to this guy than funny videos. Lewandowski spoke to us in-depth about his experiences creating motion graphics for "Tron: Legacy" and "Oblivion" and directing music videos for bands like Flying Lotus.

"Tron: Legacy"

The more he spoke, the clearer it became that the success of his videos "late for meeting" and "going to the store" was no fluke. He has a keen understanding of the mechanics of "viral videos" as well as web promotion. Going in, he knew what people wanted to see and he gave it to them...twice.

As an artist working with computers, he knows how to make everything slick and perfect. It was only natural that his personal work would push against that ideal. He relishes the mistakes and miscalculations of 3D rendering software. Where most artists would be embarrassed by these errors and quickly fix them, Lewandowski used these twitchy erratic behaviors as the basis for his videos.

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After our interview, Lewandowski took us to an arcade in downtown Los Angeles. These trips to the arcade are a refuge for Lewandowski. When he needs to escape the stresses of his jobs or his own overactive mind, he takes on an opponent in a fierce game of Marvel vs. Capcom. He remembers the arcades of his youth fondly as he knocks out his opponent in the first round. In the second round before easily dispatching his computer controlled opponent, Lewandowski tells us about the Dreamcast he's owned for years and how it is his prize possession.

After a late night visit to a small Mexican restaurant near his home, we call it a day. From our short visit with him, it's clear that Lewandowski is just a down to earth human being who loves to express himself and see his ideas through. Throughout his career, he's had several setbacks in the industry, but each time, he comes back stronger.

David Lewandowski animating "Late for Meeting"

"Late for Meeting"

David Lewandowski animation

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About the Author

Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long make up the documentary team Half Cut Tea.
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