Skip to main content Mikel Glass | The Discarded

Mikel Glass | The Discarded

January 17, 2009 - May 3, 2009

Glass’s art ranges from Realist paintings to postmodern sculpture of such items as a used pizza box or shipping box. The 12 sculptures, 23 paintings and an installation piece in Mikel Glass | The Discarded reflect the artist’s Realist style, which honors the illusionary virtuosity of many artists since the Renaissance, while elevating the objects he depicts to extraordinary relics of past events.

“Mikel Glass’s painting and sculpture are a powerful intersection of contemporary themes rendered with astounding craftsmanship,” said FAC and exhibit curator Blake Milteer. “Glass’s art provides the artist a means of reckoning with the world by interweaving the mundane and the spiritual in a diverse body of work that draws equally from Renaissance painting, Surrealism, Dada, and conceptual art.”

Glass’s humorous and ironic reconstructions of discarded objects bring into question the very nature of art, inspiring viewers to unravel complex layers of meaning. He recreates cardboard boxes out of wood and paint and assigns each sculpture with a fictional, often humorous, back story or provenance. He paints people, mannequins, rubber gloves, dolls that he finds in the trash and fruit from a market.

With this exhibit, the Fine Arts Center is producing a 60-page catalogue with a foreword written by FAC President Sam Gappmayer, an introduction by Milteer and an essay by filmmaker J.J. Abrams. The catalogue tells the stories of how Glass crafts his artwork, including The Battle of Jogkith, a fanciful oil-on-canvas painting of retreating creatures made of fruit being attacked from the air. (The FAC exhibition will include an installation piece of the fruit creature diorama.)

“For the fruit creatures, I went to the flower district and bought plastic fruit,” recalls Glass, who works out of his studio in Hell’s Kitchen. “Then I had to engineer and assemble them. Next, I had to build and decorate a set and pose them. At the end of three days, I stood in front of what looked like a diorama at the Natural History Museum and said, ‘Yes, there it is!’ And then I said, ‘Damn, now I have to paint this thing.”

“Mikel Glass approaches his work with a fearless passion,” writes John A. Parks of American Artist. “Unafraid of varying his subject matter, he blithely changes media from painting to sculpture and back again. Moreover, he is consistently courageous in taking on difficult and challenging subjects in his work. While most artists construct exhibitions around single themes, mindful of maintaining a cohesive style, Glass seeks to explore a huge variety of possibilities in his oeuvre … (He) is forging his way into new territory and finding novel ways to deploy his considerable representational skills.”

Other events are planned including a four-week class at the Bemis School of Art, The Object of Art, taught by the curator Blake Milteer.

About the artist

Mikel Glass received a B.A. from Pomona College, in Claremont, Calif., and an M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art. He has also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Sir John Cass School of Art in London, and with Jacob Collins at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. The artist’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows around the globe, as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, American Artist, and The Boston Globe, among other publications. Glass is represented by galleries in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco.