Article Spotlight: Things Come Apart

In Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart series, the Toronto artist gives used and unwanted mechanical items a second life by deconstructing them and photographing the parts arranged in busy images, where something new can be discovered every time the photos are viewed.

Things_Come_Apart_PLC_INC.inddThe series began with a collection of vintage objects, originally found on the street or at secondhand stores—all working, but no longer wanted. As the series progressed, newer objects were incorporated.

The goal was to “create a thought process of what goes into our everyday objects and how we can change the way we use them and for how long,” McLellan says.

Wanting to show these objects in a way that would make the viewer think of them in a more constructive way, he has flirted with a few different ways of photographing them, all stemming from the traditional “assembly diagrams,” similar to what you would see in a parts schematic.

The Things Come Apart series is completely unique and a true reflection of the artist. The entire process—from sourcing the objects, disassembling, and photographing—is done by McLellan, who says his fascination with the way things work comes from his “hands-on family.”

86-87_ChainsawA graduate of Alberta College of Arts and Design, McLellan now lives in Toronto with his wife and two daughters.

One object he can’t wait to disassemble? A streetcar.

You can read more about Todd McLellan and The Art of Parts series in Issue 64 of America Lifestyle magazine.

To see more of Todd McLellan’s art, visit his website,