My first experience with blown glass was at the Renaissance Fair. The men (always men) would pull a molten glowing glob of orange out of a fire and turn it into a thing. Moving the hot glass around using metal hammers and pinchers and various tools. Sweat beading up on brows as we kids waited to see what shape would appear. (I don’t want to ruin the mystery for you, but it was almost always a rose or vase.)
My latest experience with blown glass is at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Einar and Jamex de la Torre, collaborating artists and brothers, have their first solo museum exhibition in Florida. You have to check this show out. And because CFAM is a teaching museum, there’s plenty to think about. While at California State University, the brothers started sculpting in hot glass and fell in love with its “intrinsic spontaneity.” Now they bring drawings and ideas to their workshop but essentially allow the mood and the moment to direct the outcome.
The brothers have created lenticular pieces. Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenses are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles. I used to have lenticular bookmarks with jumping unicorns and kittens in baskets of flowers. I loved how their heads and legs moved or their eyes followed me as I flipped the bookmark back and forth.
The lenticulars that the brothers have created are completely different, addressing transnational identity and immigration incorporating Aztec iconography and themes of European art along with pop culture. I know that sounds super heavy, but I think one of the comments on the video was that the show reminded someone of The Simpsons. So do what you will with that comment and go see the show.
Watch this unique live interview at the opening of the CFAM show with Einar and Jamex de la Torre: