The Parlour is happy to present ||
Blown in Fear of Abstraction
June 15th 2012
Michael is a glass artist currently residing in Miami, FL. Growing up near glass studios in Illinois sparked a lifelong love of the material that has taken him across states and spanned continents. In addition to his own body of work, McCain has taken part in many public installations and commissions that he hopes will outlast himself.
Treat glass like a material. Build with it, and keep the form rock solid in your mind while working with it.
This advice has influenced my work for a long time- the illocution of the words was to place the goal of my efforts on the craftsmanship emphasized in traditional glassmaking. From day one, college level studio glass studies flirt with the endless forum for artistic expression in the medium, meanwhile on a practical level instill repetition to perfect the creative process as a means for making Form. We’re given eight basic shapes as a standard in as much we’re told to put ourselves into our work. The former may take a few months to learn, and a lifetime to achieve in sanguine fashion. Yet is it any different from repeating note for note a classical melody, made perfect centuries ago, with less effort than the master who first bent his soul and will into developing something wholly his own?
These works are a departure from the craft of glassmaking as I’ve been taught for so long, and an approach to the discipline of art. The three series I’m presenting are an attemp to transcend the features exclusive to glass, to make the message more than the material.
In the Panels, the composition is in the glass, an attempt at expressionism that uses depth and transparency to overcome the traditional focus on form in glass art. I hope to have the viewer disregard the shape of the glass entirely as their drawn along and through the layers from rear to front.
The Ribbons series I relate to cubist sculpture and again I created them as a disconnection from the emphasis which form has in influencing the act of making glass. This even began in the process of creation itself- I’ve never before worked with the material so directly, so ‘hands-on,’ both while hot and workable, through the process of grinding and polishing to achieve their final look.
The Winded Leaves series is an installation piece, its composition is meant to be taken in from the entirety of the group of glasses as they are assembled. While I created these leaves under the influence of some known Glass Artists and their work, and a traditional technique made popular since the Glass Movement in America, though originated in Swedish schools, their inherent qualities are overpowered by their arrangement. In a way its meant to speak to the Dadaist, in that it might offend the glass purist.