On this week’s artist rotation, I was fascinated by Maccabee Shelley’s work. His work consists of colorful ceramics, made mostly of melted glass. His artwork to me looked like things you’d find in the ocean and what resides in the ocean is beautiful and scary as Shelley states about glass. He says glass is dangerous to work with and that most artists prefer not to use because of its sharp, jagged edges. It is also very fragile, one wrong move and it can instantly shatter into millions of pieces. Some of his pieces were broken showing its fragility.
Shelley mentioned that melting glass is a long and arduous process, it takes him about a week to melt and form only one part of an entire piece. But he likes using glass because he believes it has an undermined value, he likes that the glass itself does not age with time and lasts longer than other materials. Glass is a strong material and it doesn’t wear, which fascinates him but it is also very fragile, this is something we see in his art, something strong over time but fragile to the touch. He also mentioned that he likes working with glass because he is able to mold it into whatever he likes, he can either melt it all the way through and create whatever he wants or keep some of the bottle and incorporate in his pieces which I thought was genius.
The picture to the right shows a trashcan full of glass bottles, I thought this was cool because he was encouraging others (the people who roamed around the galleries) to recycle glass bottles to later be used for his artwork. Shelley mentioned that on his opening day he had glass bottled sodas for anyone but he had the bottle opener inside his exhibit which was pretty smart way to get them to look at his art, and after they were done they could toss it in the can. Maccabee Shelley’s artwork is incredible, it is certainly something that I could never recreate because his creativity is unique, to me his artwork resembled the beauty of the ocean’s inhabitants but to him it can mean something entirely different like the fragility of life and how easily one can be broken. There are so many interpretations, that’s the great thing about art.
Visit Maccabee Shelley’s website here.