Stephanie Chubbuck

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ARTIST STATEMENT

 

"I work primarily in the traditional crafts medium of glass and fine metal and with many cannons usually associated with traditional fine arts. My series of figurative fruit pieces combines imagery drawn from Dutch 'Vanitas' still life paintings, figure sculptures, and utilizes materials that are both organic and industrial. They are illustrations of my fascination with the rough edges and parts of human nature, human physicality, and human conditions.

 

I refer to these works as figurative because although they literally embody the shape of pears and other fruit, they imply physical and emotional humanity. Exquisite agony or exquisite exaltation in response to the evidence of life's processes often exists together as more than the sum of their discordant parts. My illustrations of these conditions imply the fruit as personification in glass chosen for its' sensual surface, with added industrial elements such as zippers, sutures, or hardware that are utilized as an embellishment. My intention is for all the individual elements to appear as enticing and conventionally beautiful even when they would not intuitively considered to be so, and for the combinations of materials to imply a dual identity.

 

The fruit is produced in blown glass, which is then 'cold worked' to achieve the complex cuts in the curved surfaces and the installation of the clothing closures and other mixed media.

 

The luscious color is the result of the use of glass pigments with a high gold content which are added to the layers of glass during shaping and blowing in the hot glass shop. This process gives depth and richness to the color as it sits between the layers of clear glass. The effect is skin-like, and similar to the way natural pearls have depth and an orient of light.

 

The cuts are made free hand, using diamond impregnated dental tools and a jeweler's drill. This essentially grinds and sculpts the surface away in increments. This application is unique and singular to my work and has evolved with my studio process. The precise complex cuts on the three dimensional surface would not be possible with any traditional glass working tools or by any other method.

 

By visually combining the organic with the imposed, the soft and the hard, the natural with the commercial a conceptual transformation takes place. My objective is to both seduce the viewer and to elicit recognition of corporeal and emotional conditions that are affective, unsettling, erotic, humorous, or a combination of these things."

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