Art of the Day

3 Jul

Burger and Fries. Part of the series called “Blue Plate Special.” By John Miller (born around 1969). Blown glass, date unknown.

Notes from artist’s website,

John is fascinated by American diner and fast food culture, as well as the personalities that surround it – patrons, chefs, and waitresses. The pieces are infused with fun and whimsy – much like Miller’s own personality. “I was searching for something I really wanted to make.  Objects are a big part of our lives, and all the forms, shapes, and colors are a giant part of the culture of this country. Yet you overlook it because it is an everyday object that you know you need …salt, coffee, food. I wanted to create art that is fun, but also makes you look at these objects in a new way.”

My comments:

I’m still researching contemporary glass artists at my internship that would be good candidates to commission for a glass menorah for the glass craft show that the Gershman Y will be exhibiting in the fall, and so I stumbled upon this artist in my research today and I really admired his work so I wanted to feature it on the blog. His work is strongly reminiscent of Pop Art, which similarly took icons of pop culture (there are few things more American than a big cheeseburger and curly fries) and transforming them into works of art. This artist not only does that, but he also blows up the size of these objects as we would typically encounter them in everyday life and makes them monumental-Claes Oldenburg did something similar with his  fabric sculptures of cake and toilets. He goes even further by recreating the classic food combination in a fragile, delicate medium. These are two adjectives that I don’t think anyone would normally associate with burgers and fries. In fact, we usually reserve our sloppiest, laid back and relaxed behavior for the times that we’re consuming burgers and fries. But Miller’s artwork has changed the dynamic of our relationship with this food, because now this messy, anything but dainty food is too beautiful and precious to eat. And its dramatically increased size renders it completely inedible, being something that we can only admire as it shines in the light.

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