Monday, October 26, 2015

RECAP // Coffee Date with John Morris

Saturday, October 24, 2015

MF members joined Pittsburgh-based artist John Morris this past Saturday for another edition of the Mattress Factory’s Coffee Date series, where art talk and breakfast treats go hand-in-hand. John Morris’ work “Life, Afterlife” is currently exhibiting at 1414 Monterey Street as part of 2015's Factory Installed exhibition.

John describes himself as a life-long doodler, and “Life, Afterlife” as an evolution of his doodles and earlier two-dimensional drawings. He studied at the Pratt Institute in New York, where he primarily focused on commercial illustration. As his artistic experimentation progressed, he began to see paper as a barrier. His current creative process is the result of eliminating paper and his unique three-dimensional drawing techniques. 

Members discovered that the installation's translucent menagerie of utensils, drooping bottles, and other objects are not made out of glass, but actually acrylic medium. John draws using clear acrylic medium on glass and then peels it off, creating cast objects evocative of “glass antiquities” as one member put it. These objects also respond to gravity, slowly wilting, transforming and distorting over time.
A talented member shares her sketch from the Coffee Date.

Other fascinating tidbits include:
  • It took three weeks for John to install “Life, Afterlife.”
  • Most objects were actually found/created beforehand, and then transported to the Mattress Factory in a cabinet that MF staff member Caitlin Harpster described as a “very orderly, surprising source of chaos.”
  • John’s sources of inspiration over the course of his artistic career range from Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel to Beatriz Milhazes.
Want to learn the insider’s story behind other Mattress Factory art works? Join us for our next Coffee Date on November 7 with Bill Smith! This is a special edition Coffee Date, where a full breakfast bonanza will be served as part of our Member Appreciation Week, a week-long celebration featuring member-exclusive programming and discount prices on memberships!

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