Utopian was the name I gave to my MFA Thesis exhibition. It was on display at the Eskenazi Museum of Fine Art for two weeks, beginning on April 12, 2017. This entire show was created from scratch in the space of approximately three months and employed nearly all the skills I have been developing over the last 20 years. In addition to sculpting the pieces in Rhino and printing them on my home machine, I designed the graphics for the individual display panels, printed them on silk organza and affixed them to the oak boards with a polyurethane varnish. The pieces themselves were suspended in front of the panels using a custom, scalable hanging system that I created just for this display. I also designed and distributed the invitations.
The paper I wrote to go along with the show does a very good job explaining the concept and can be downloaded here. Following is an excerpt that partially summarizes the preceding 20 pages:
“White is the dominant color in the show for a reason. It represents the purity and the naivete of the newborn, the unsullied gaze of the freshly manifest. These objects are stripped down and bare, filed and sanded to a velvet smooth finish, cool as bone to the touch. The transparents have been burnished to a high gloss, allowing the crystalline structure of their deposition layers to show through. They are gemstones and cockpits and nose cones and wings. The forms do more than refer to my utopia, they embody my utopia. For me, the wearing and the handling of these pieces conjure a feeling of contentment and peace. They are talismans that vibrate on the wavelength of my imagination, that connect me to a place of hope. The backdrops over which they cast their shadow display a snapshot of the utopian space from which they have emerged, the digital meeting place between the mind and the hand. The wireframe patterns traced in black are a nude portrait of the resulting form. A raw visual representation of a mathematical formula. Included so the audience can begin to see what I see when I look at them.
In the end, I reiterate what I said in my talk at the museum. I stand here in defense of the dreamers. In support of those who have one foot in another reality and their heads constantly in the clouds. The utopians. I have come a long way from the situation I was born into and it was because I refused to come down from my cloud or let go of my innermost desires. I still want to see magic in the world. But it does no good waiting for it to happen on its own. Its up to us as utopians to bring the magic into the world ourselves, to give birth to the forms we carry inside of us, and to continuously strive for something better.”
- Photo by Shawn Lopez