This series deals with themes of ownership, theft, vandalism, and questions what makes the true value of art. But it also comes with an interesting story.
Sometimes you need to change up what and how you make in order to give your brain a new way to exercise. For example, I love making glass but I also really love the days when I have to make a shipping crate out of plywood and dimension foam. It involves math and planning and working with tools that I otherwise don't get to use. I feel the same way about the days when I get to weld stands together to display my glass.
All this to say that projects like the Lux project are a welcomed change. The Lux project wasn't a project at all when it started. It was just an experiment like everything else.
When I was studying for my Masters of Fine Arts degree in Rochester, NY, many of the students from the Art department would frequent a bar called the Lux Lounge. It is hard to explain the decor of this bar, part biker, part voodoo, part artist hangout. I often wondered if I ever drank out of the same cup out of all the many times I had been at the Lux so I decided that I should mark the bottom of a glass and look for it whenever I drank there. I took a glass and sandblasted my initials into the bottom of the glass. Nothing. Never saw it again so I decided to make my marks more bold and noticeable by sandblasting into the side of the glass.
I was stealing the cups, defacing them, and returning them all without any of the staff ever knowing who was doing this. I often thought about the person washing the dirty glassware, often called the "dish pig", who wishes they had a better job but needed the money so settled on being a dish pig. I thought how much I would have hated that job and thought that finding a cool glass would be a great way to break the endless cycle of boredom and monotomy.
The first cups had images of small skulls at the base but quickly changed and became larger, taking up the entire side of the glass. I felt like the skulls and skeletons theme was keeping with the theme of the bar and also gave a theme to this series. The skeletons quickly became a reflection of my own persona and my struggles with being a stranger in a strange land.
Images of blowing glass, going to the toilet, strange men on foreign (to me) currencies, and my constant struggle with germophobia were etched into the thick glass side at different levels to give me a variety of tones.
Eventually, the LUX started displaying these defaced glasses on a shelf behind the bar and seemed to enjoy this little game of cat and mouse that I had set up. That made me feel better about stealing and vandalizing the glassware. That is a strong theme in this project: theft and ownership. If we think that any of these glasses are Art is any degree, who owns it? Did I make Art or did I vandalize someone's property? Does the anonymity add value or interest of this series? If so, does the imagery itself even matter?