Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Shattered Glass Animals
February 8, 2013 4:03 AM   Subscribe

Shattered Glass: Animal Sculptures "Using carefully broken shards of colored glass, Polish artist Marta Klonowska assembles translucent animals in life-like proportion and size." Title link contains small collection of eleven images. The gallery portfolio of the artist contains a more extensive list. The glass sculptures were originally shown at the European Glass Content exhibition, which took place on the Baltic island of Bornholm in 2011.

Previous examples of unusual glass sculpture on Mefi:
Previously - Heart of Glass: Glass Anatomical Models.
Previously(er) - The Corning Museum of Glass in New York State
Even more previously - Andy Paiko's Glass Sculpture
posted by Faintdreams (26 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool technique, but the forms are boring. Are you paying attention, first year art students? Just make cute animals. People love cute animals.

It's impossible for me to look at stuff like this without yawning and thinking, "well, this was made to sell."
posted by victory_laser at 4:28 AM on February 8, 2013


No porcupine? Huh.
posted by orme at 5:00 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


victory_laser A rather dismissive comment. I have a great deal of admiration for artists that realize it is nice to make a living and be creative--unsold art for the sake of art is, as far as I am concerned, unsold art. I find the forms interesting and challenging.
posted by rmhsinc at 5:03 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like wild animals, you want to pet them, but know you shouldn't.
posted by Brent Parker at 5:05 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like them; I especially thought the second link, showing the original inspirations for some of the pieces, was good.
posted by TedW at 5:19 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Needs more unicorns, w/ or w/o horns.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:27 AM on February 8, 2013


It is the difference between theoretical and applied science.
Theoretical art is for galleries and tenure.
Applied art is for paying the mortgage.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:28 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought the sculptures and the entire site were well worth the time.

The texture that the found glass created was striking and kind of enhanced the "wildness" of the animals themselves. I also liked the way the photos zoomed in closer on the actual glass.

Colossal is a great site with a zillion cool ideas in it - I'm very thankful to find out about it.

Great post!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:44 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Amazing work in a difficult medium. How on earth would you transport it?
posted by Catblack at 5:51 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is some of the most wonderful art I've seen in a little while. While I somewhat agree with victory_laser's comment about the conventional forms, the medium is striking and novel. Excellent!
posted by Krazor at 5:52 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like these, but surely that pull-quote should say "Carefully using carefully broken shards of colored glass..."

Redundancy is only barely sufficient in this case.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 6:02 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like if the forms weren't familiar it would take away from the impact of the medium. I'd really like to see video of these, someone walking around one so you could see the light skimming off the edges of things. Or, of course, in person.
posted by Mizu at 6:06 AM on February 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Skilled craft but I also am put off by the cute, of-the-pop-moment subject. A friend of mine has been working with the same materials, usually found next to a smashed bus station, for years and his forms are more abstract and interesting to me: http://wesvirginia.com/
posted by mr.ersatz at 6:07 AM on February 8, 2013


Cool technique, but the forms are boring. Are you paying attention, first year art students? Just make cute animals. People love cute animals.

It's impossible for me to look at stuff like this without yawning and thinking, "well, this was made to sell."


Yeah, the zeitgeist is all for glass copies of animals found in Baroque paintings. That and Hello Kitty are just flying off the shelves.
posted by xingcat at 6:30 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that these are beautiful - and the fact that the forms are familiar showcases the artist's skill, because if she made a mistake it would be immediately noticeable. By contrast, if you look at the work of Mr Ersatz's friend, it's certainly pretty but it takes far less skill to make, since the abstract quality means that mistakes can be made without compromising the overall work (after all, it's impossible for the viewer to tell if a crack in any specific spot is accidental or deliberate).

Personally, what I find most stirring about art comes from the recognition of how much time, patience, skill, and sacrifice it took to make something. Seeing these sculptures, I can picture that the artist must have put a large amount of blood (literally), sweat, and tears into it, and that's moving to me. Victory_Laser, your mileage may vary but I think you should recognize that different people appreciate different things and what you consider "good" art might actually be rather boring to some.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 6:34 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Art installers & art movers like to act cool - they have seen pretty much everything. But every once and a while you see can the hesitation and self doubt in their eyes as the approach something like this.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:59 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wolfdreams01 - Your conception of art is very classical and as valid as any. But by your definition then an original Thomas Kinkade Painting which took a week would be far superior to a Bruce Nauman video performance which took about an hour from start to finish. Would you say an Airbus A380 or the Suez Canal are even greater works of art? Their construction required an absurd application of time, patience, skill and sacrifice in comparison to a kitty made of safety glass.

I don't think I would go that far but it is interesting to think of labor as art.
posted by mr.ersatz at 8:22 AM on February 8, 2013



Needs more unicorns, w/ or w/o horns.

Isn't a unicorn without a horn just a horse? Or perhaps an acorn?
posted by TedW at 9:12 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


But an Airbus and the Suez canal are large projects involving many people, with funding from a large corporation or a government. A single person made these sculptures.

Anyway, I think these would look awesome in person and it's impressive just to think about how hard the medium is to work with. You'd have to use tweezers or something to set each glass shard in place... and think about how many bowls you'd have to break to get the right pieces...
posted by subdee at 11:11 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stunning.
posted by vitabellosi at 5:48 PM on February 8, 2013


Do-Ho Suh

vs

Yong Ho Ji

Which art is better?
posted by victory_laser at 7:11 PM on February 8, 2013


Wow. Way cool. Love this post. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 8:09 PM on February 8, 2013


subdee: Art has almost always been funded by patronage, government or private. It's only really in the last 30 years that a market-based art industry has emerged. There are still lots of artists who have their livelihoods subsidized by grants, residencies, or rich Uncle Bob

And does it need to be a heroic individual who does all the labor? That would rule out the pyramids and Andy Warhol. What if Klonowska has an assistant helping her in the studio?

I most appreciate art that appears to me as a useless artifact that transcends a fantastic vision or clever idea.
posted by mr.ersatz at 2:54 AM on February 9, 2013


after all, it's impossible for the viewer to tell if a crack in any specific spot is accidental or deliberate

I'll let others quibble with the rest of your arguments, but I think this bit here reads, to me at least, as terrifyingly antithetical to allowing an artist's materials to perform as themselves. Part of what makes a great deal of art as magnificent as it is is the way that randomness and happenstance lend an organic quality to that which is inorganic.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 AM on February 9, 2013


@mr.ersatz I was thinking about a lot of early Modern art when I made that comment. The full-color canvases and the stuff that looks like a car bumper but has only an aesthetic purpose. The artists were interested in industrial processes, but instead of making cars or whatever they used the same processes to explore abstract shapes. I always thought that the point was as much the amount of skill an individual would need to recreate these industrial processes - creating your own molds and so on - as the exploration of shape and material.

Anyway, the artist is exploring a new material and doing something extremely time and labor intensive, as a single person. And the result is aesthetically pleasing (I suppose this depends on your perspective). Therefore it's art.
posted by subdee at 11:36 AM on February 9, 2013


@subdee I think we actually appreciate some of the same things. But my point is that in the case of many of those sublime, strange fiberglass sculptures etc, the artists actually had a lot of expert help. That perfect glossy hot-rod paint job may actually have been done in the local auto-body shop by an experienced painter who normally fixes the dents in Buicks. Does that make the artwork any less compelling? This might even be more interesting since the artwork then exists within a constellation of social and economic relations.

Ever since Duchamp exhibited his first Ready-Mades, the definition of art has opened up to be a matter of intent. Implicit in this is that art is judged based on the quality of the idea expressed, instead of more classical notions of craft. Although it is more inclusive, this new definition can be just as problematic as the old one though, since it positions the intellectual component as being more important than the imaginary and material aspects.
posted by mr.ersatz at 5:28 AM on February 10, 2013


« Older Representative democracy is what's happening. Unfo...  |  A card game to teach computer ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments