There is a massive artistic appeal in the natural form of the world. It provides a foil to the static and basic forms of geometry that are used in art and sculptures. The Fosdick- Nelson Gallery at Alfred University had been a host to Kelsey Zwarka’s Wave to the Trees. While the natural world has more detail to geometrical and streamlined pieces, they are still made up of similar components, the natural objects are just made up of more. There is a mathematical field known as fractals, which is a geometrical figure that implements the same change to each segment. Many objects in nature can be graphically and structurally made using these figures such as trees, snowflakes, mountainsides, coastlines, or even lava flows for organic and geological shapes. The top left image displayed takes use of these organic figures in order to make the bark of a tree almost scale like. The blend of textured and non-textured segments of the structure add a brilliant contrast that can be interpreted in many different ways. It appears like a plant that can be grown underwater, and the scale like pattern only adds to that. The hollowed out inner portions can also be seen like a container to hold an object, possibly a coffin. The flowers at the top can add to that and appear like life appearing from death, the art of reincarnation. However, the tree aspects do not just include the structure of Zwarka’s scultpures. With the top right image, it features a simple picture of three jellyfish. One may ask how a gallery of trees would be able to include a photo of jellyfish in the corner, but it may have to do with the name of a jellyfish group. When together, a large amount of jellyfish can have several different names, which include colonies, blooms and even forests. The inclusion of this image in the collection is an interesting play on words due to groups of trees and jellyfish are both called forests.
Art pieces over the years have come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. The medium of a piece can, more often then not, have a direct effect on the interpretations of the art by the public. While some of the most common materials used in sculpting are wood, stone and metal, there have been some rather interesting alternatives used in many sculptures during both ancient and in modern times. The Clandestine Moments collection on display at Alfred University (starting May 6th) had an interesting assortment of unique sculptures by a variety of artists. Jon Ryan Moreno, the primary contributor to the collection, had several thought provoking effigies of many different topics. The top left image, titled Four Lives’ Work, has the use of two rather unique materials: Honey and Salt. The sculpture features a large glass bulb at the end of four ropes, dangling above a white canvas. On the canvas is a large pattern of honey and salt, which drizzled down as the bulb swung. The pattern can be interpreted with many differing ideas, from an open eye to even a galaxy. One of the more interesting ones that I had heard was that it represented a sound wave, and I pictured someone recording a bee’s buzzing and drew a visual representation. Salt was used in another of Moreno’s sculptures, along with cardboard. This bust was formed out of natural salt and recycled cardboard, and is titled Eminent Repurpose. This title is rather fitting for what it displays, due to the thought of how human souls can be “recycled” with the idea of reincarnation. The salt build up that covers most of the bust gives off the feeling of being near the ocean for long periods of time, and even builds a small beard of the material. However, Moreno’s most eye opening piece was Portrait of My Father. At first glance, one would expect to see a legitimate portrait of a man on display. However, the actual piece is anything but a portrait. Along a wooden beam, stacked on cinderblocks, was a large row of wine glasses. Each glass was filled with one of three liquids; Milk, Champagne and seltzer water. In an artist statement, Moreno mentions his fascination with the cyclical nature of human condition. The cycle, despite being in a line, may represent some of his fathers habits that Moreno noticed as a child.