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Art Seeks a Viewer

This mixed media sculpture evokes a room in a museum in which artworks vie for a viewer's attention. The muted colors of the off-white wall and marble floor highlight the items on display — a photograph of a necklace and three miniature Art Nouveau chairs. The subject of the photograph is so desperate to be noticed that it tumbles out of its frame. The vibrancy of its colors — royal blue, cobalt, aqua, gold and two shades of yellow — symbolize its urgency and the richness of its components — citrine, golden rutilated quartz, freshwater pearls and Murano glass beads — indicate its quality. In short, a playful and surrealistic commentary on the mutually dependent relationship between the work of art and the viewer.

In this framed sculpture, an artwork cries out for attention. I was inspired to create this after attending openings of art exhibits where the attendees chatted in small groups with their backs to the art.

The colors and textures of the walls and floor evoke the interior of a museum. Three miniature Art Nouveau chairs displayed on the right balance a framed photograph of a necklace on the left. Designed in a range of blues and yellows — aqua, cobalt, royal blue, light yellow, bright yellow and gold — the necklace includes as components semiprecious stones (citrine and golden rutilated quartz), freshwater pearls and blown Murano glass. Additional materials in this assemblage include dollhouse miniatures, wood, wallpaper, paper, and resin. Inspired by Necklace MU 94.

Framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 13.75"H x 19.75"W x 4"D

Ready to hang. Hardware included.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg


Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

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