The best thing about being on the Acquisitions Committee of the Museum of Arts and Design, informally known as “MAD,” is that you get to learn about so many different artists who’s work is in the museum’s permanent collection. I could probably write a post a day about how many talented artists I am introduced to through this experience. Today I have chosen to write about Tim Tate,
who is a glass and video sculpture par excellence.
The piece which was being considered by the museum for inclusion into their permanent collection…and accepted BTW… was “I Want to Run Away and Join the Circus.” This particular creation is typical of Tate’s innovative work, in which he combines glass and video into the art. It is also particularly interesting because the tiny video camera installed within the glass case will depict any viewer that approaches the art work to look at it. Usually Tate creates his own videos for his art work, but in this case he chose to make the video portion of his sculpture interactive thus, adding yet another dimension to his highly inventive art work.
Interestingly enough, the artist, Sandra Mejía-Llano (see post ), incorporated this same feature in an art installation about tango dancing she created for a room I completed at a Southampton Designer’s Show House. It was really quite effective…lots of “oohs & aahs” when people saw themselves… and I am sure Tate gets the same response from his viewers.
Tate’s work is highly representative of the evolving nature of art glass being produced today. Through the incorporation of electronics and figurative glass sculptures he is leaving a message about culture and the human experience. Tate calls these pieces “electronic reliquaries,” an interesting and rather clever reference to a modern day container for holy relics.
Not all of Tate’s pieces include videos and the ones that do not are just as beautiful and fascinating to look at as the others. Each and every one of them carries a visual message that is clear as a bell when you read the title he has given the piece. Many of the titles are so clever that they will probably put a big smile on your face.
Tate is striking out at the cliches which encompass our daily lives and trying to get us to open our eyes to ourselves and how we proceed through the daily human experience. I am not sure whether this is a negative or positive commentary or just a wake up call to try and be in touch with your real inner self and see yourself for who you are.
His work is exquisitely executed and full of all sorts of minute detail that you have to take in when you look at each one of these “reliquaries.” Needless to say, his work has been exhibited around the world, including such important shows as SOFA, Art Basel Switzerland , the Smithsonian, Art Basel-Miami. One can also find his work in selective commercial galleries in the US and Europe.
I wanted to include one of the pieces with the actual video that is integral to the work. I think this will make Tate’s work become even more alive for you.
Here is the video that is on the tiny screen:
Tate is also the founder of the Washington Glass School located in Maryland, which provides sculptural glass education as well as serving as a research center for the development of new glass techniques and other artistic media.
Hope you enjoyed this little introduction to a glass artist who’s work I find quite exciting. You should keep your eyes and ears open for any shows or galleries where Tim Tate is included that are close to where you live. You will most definitely enjoy the experience of seeing his art work up front and personal!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!