I saw it in person. I wasn’t expecting to see it, but I was open to a dialogue with it because I was sharing its space.
–>Get your work out of the studio (unless you’re having an open studio event!) and seen. Viewing online is not an adequate alternative.
It was made of mirrored glass. That alone was unusual and separated McElheny’s work from all of the other work in the museum.
–>Explore different materials–if only for your framing, pedestals, and other display mechanisms.
McElheny’s installation was in the center of the gallery almost by itself and, yet, because of its multiple mirrors, it referenced everything else and everyone else in that gallery. Its scale (24 x 108 x 92 inches) made it unavoidable. I had to walk around it in order to see the art on the other side of it. Its mirrors made it endless.
–>Make your work bigger! Command attention from viewers.
My husband (the physicist and mathematician) was first attracted–before I was–to the forms and materials. His interest in the work encouraged my own.
–>See art through someone else’s eyes. Explore in depth how they are moved by specific works of art. (This means asking questions of them before you offer your opinions.)
After that initial spark from my husband, McElheny’s installation became a puzzle that I wanted to figure out. I love puzzles of all kinds and I am attracted to art that makes me think.
–>Make art that people need to spend time with in order to figure out. Puzzles can be visible or invisible, but they can also be a riddle embedded in the imagery.
Hearing him and seeing him talk on the “art:21” series seduced me even further to want to see and know more about his work.