With generous support from the Pittsburgh Glass Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I created a body of work that intertwines historical allegory, symbolic visual signals, and photographic theory. The project, titled Fool’s Gold, is an attempt to examine the history of geologic and image-based ideas utilizing hand made glass objects and constructed still-life photographs.
Fools Gold phase II
Approaching glass as a material capable of disguise and camouflage, I created rock-like sculptures that resemble various minerals found in some of the oldest caves on earth. The symbols that are stamped into the glass objects depict images discovered on the walls in ancient caves across Europe. Today, these symbols are understood to be some of the earliest forms of graphic communication as well as visual artistic expression. The sculptures created within this project are a nod to the scientific curiosities that inform our understanding of art history.
Fools Gold phase I
Photography and representation have been intertwined in an illusive state since the invention of the camera obscura. It is unarguably one of the mediums most dangerous and powerful attribute. As most viewers trust their eyesight to examine and understand the physical world, the same trust is often place onto a photograph as if the medium itself is directly connected to seeing.
The sculptures depicted in these photographs are drafted to resemble pyrite forms that naturally grow to model a perfect cube. As cave-like and futuristic as the cubes appear they reflect a non-human characteristic that masks them as an unnatural and complicated relic from underground. Made entirely of glass, these hand-made forms exist as 2D and 3D counterfeit artifacts, created to serve as placeholders to remind us that all things in the physical world are designed as reflections of being.
© Ben Schonberger 2013 - 2019