Monday, 21 September 2015

Venetian Fantasy

Dale Chihuly’s stunning glass art creations conjure the fascination and wonder of colour, transparency and shape to offer viewers pieces that seem to have come out of magic hands.

Think of Venice and we immediately dream of the intense, beguiling and romantic beauty of this city, of the intimate connection of town and sea, of its worldwide famous and luxurious Carnival, of the truly fabulous glasswork produced in the nearby island of Murano. Everything about Venice invites us into a universe of beauty, romance, glamour, charm and art.

These are feelings to hold when one is introduced to the absolutely awesome universe of Chihuly’s glass art works. His creations conjure everything within the realm of Beauty, artistry, colour, wonder… Each piece seems to be more striking than the previous, and one is left with no words to describe them. The impact they produce on viewers is one of awe and wonder and, therefore, difficult to put into words.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass as an art medium while studying interior design at the University of Washington. Having received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1968, he then spent some time working at the Venini glass factory in Venice, where he had the opportunity to observe the team approach adopted to blowing glass, which was to become central to the way he works today. Furthermore, Chihuly says, “The breakthrough for me was to recognize that heat was the tool to be used with gravity to make these forms”. He then cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State in 1971, having turned it into an international glass centre, leading the avant-garde in the development of glass as a Fine Art.

“I love to go to the ocean and walk along the beach. If you work with hot glass and its natural properties, it begins to look like something that came from the sea”, states Chihuly. More than describing the mesmerising and absolutely awesome creations of Chihuly, the names given to his different series of works speak for themselves: “Baskets”, “Seaform”, “Macchia” (the Italian word for ‘spot’), “Soft Cylinders”, “Persian” (a series of works created as a homage to Italian Art Deco and all the exoticism of the senses from the Near East, Byzantine Art, the Far East and Venice itself), “Putti” (little male mischievous and playful characters used in Renaissance and Baroque times), “Ikebana” (inspired by the Japanese art of flower arrangement), “Jerusalem Cylinders” or “Rotolo”, his latest series.

All in all, Chihuly’s Art does not fit into the domain of words. It rather belongs to the realm of the senses.  We leave you with the images of his mesmerising, awesome creations and we are sure you will be caught by its intense spell and magic.

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