Artist Dan Droz explores the concept of multiple realities in his abstract mixed media sculpture. Find more of his fascinating portfolio on his website.
Art is magic… But how? In its metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic. Hans Hoffmann
Most of us who are drawn to the arts probably had a transformative experience with some particular work of art. Perhaps it was being awestruck at Christo and Jeanne Claude’s “Surrounded Islands,” or being transported while listening to Charlie Parker’s dizzying saxophone flourishes, or truly seeing the night sky for the first time while looking at a painting by Van Gogh.
This is the magic of art. A person can have their perception shifted, their mind expanded, their senses delighted by looking, listening, and perceiving.
In my sculpture I explore the elusive nature of perception where the first impression is only part of the experience. This is akin to the experience of watching a magic trick.
This notion of “multiple realities” has been a fascination since my teenage years, when I was a professional magician creating experiences based on methods or techniques intentionally hidden from observers. At some point in viewing my sculptures, the question, “How do you do that?” might occur.
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My techniques vary. Sometimes they are derived from formal manipulation and sometimes use innovative fabrication methods. With “Checkered Tablecloth,” I’ve used perspective to explore the boundaries of two and three dimensions.
The sculpture “Interior Reflections” uses a mirror that reflects a painted surface on the reverse side of the work. “Interior Glow” gradually begins to emit an evanescent halo created by the reflection of florescent paint from a concealed surface.
I’ve used actual fabrication methods not normally associated with a particular material or process. For example, in a series of sinuous crocheted mesh forms made with thin wire, I used a process of heat-treating to provide rigidity to an otherwise quite flaccid material.
Creating multiple folds in a richly patterned pane of glass required a series of customized devices. These used torsion springs to move the glass while still molten in a kiln. Casting complex glass forms was made possible with a unique technique of 3D printing a sculpture with a special polymer that could be used as a “master” for glass casting.
Although I’ve been making sculpture for over forty-five years, my primary career was as a designer and an educator at Carnegie Mellon University. I rarely exhibited my work until two years ago. At the age of sixty-eight, I decided to devote myself full-time to creating sculpture. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have exhibited in many solo and group shows and have enjoyed some success creating commissions for private and commercial projects.
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