Joseph Rossano, SCHOOL, 2018 / Glass / Dimensions Variable
The Museum of Glass (MOG) is a 75,000-square-foot art museum in Tacoma, Washington dedicated to the medium of glass. Since its founding in 2002, the Museum of Glass has been committed to creating a space for the celebration of the studio glass movement through nurturing artists, implementing education, and encouraging creativity.
Rossano’s work uses the spectacle of art to disarm an audience, opening that audience to truths about man and nature. On the surface, it appears as though he is manufacturing representational art; the hidden reality is quite different. Rossano has made butterflies from fighter aircrafts; used whitewash and tar to tell a story of human behavior refusing to disappear; and employed 800-year-old trees as a historic reference to modern humanity.
Through the use of contextually significant materials, the artist’s work relates an environmental truth hidden in plain sight. Engaging in intensively researched life science theory, Rossano curates a narrative of his own manufacture, which exposes the viewer to that hidden truth and the theory it supports. Through a mutual desire to protect the natural world, he enlists prominent life scientists to, together, lead viewers to poignant, of the moment theories, represented in three dimensions.
Until a recent shift in scale, the vast majority of what he made reflected personal toil, crafted, conceived and researched by his hand and mind alone. No longer pursuing intimate works, Rossano now continues in the same vein with large-scale installations in the homes of U.S. President’s, and more, exposing ever larger audiences to the conceptual matrix surrounding his work and our world. These new works are created in association with other artists, corporations, and individuals, all willing to donate their time and materials to the causes Rossano addresses and messages they deliver – a model of community collaborating for a cause.
The scientist, the environmentalist, and the conservationist constantly face the challenge of convincing an audience to care about their work, cause, etc. Although artists face the same challenges, more often than not, it is an ego driven exercise. Rossano have chosen to make makes things regardless of profit, that are about something bigger than ourselves, , about individuals and creatures—whether they be human or other—that need our help.
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