Rado Kirov | The Mercury Effect

Pontone Gallery
May 9, 2018 10:25AM

Monumental Melt | 2016 - Mirrored stainelss steel - 150 x 350 cm - 59.1 x 137.8 in

Rado Kirov was born in 1955 in Bulgaria, where he trained as a coppersmith. He moved to South Africa in 1991 where he pursued a successful career crafting objects in precious metals, including a silver chalice presented to Pope John Paul II by President Nelson Mandela.

Gravity | 2016 - Mirrored stainless steel - 115 x 93 cm - 45.3 x 36.6 in

A burgeoning interest in sculpture saw him using his superior craft skills to grow and extend his practice. In 2012, drawing on his thorough knowledge of silversmithing, the artist perfected a technique of manipulating sheets of stainless steel by hand. Using the inherent physical properties of the metal, he creates a striking three-dimensional surface that dynamically mirrors its surroundings. These pieces look like quicksilver caught in mid- flow. Kirov refers to this technique as ‘the mercury effect’.

Fish pond 2 | 2018 - Mirrored stainless steel - 115 x 115 cm - 45.3 x 45.3 in

His sculpture consists of wall-mounted reliefs and free-standing sculptures, all fabricated from stainless steel with highly polished surfaces. Some are geometric, some explicitly furniture-like, others are beads and droplets of formless matter; still more are glistening, reflective panels expressive of flowing landscapes. A new development are reliefs that reference the sensuous surfaces of the human body. The various pieces are subtly shaped by hand to yield complex, undulating forms from hard metal.

Expansion | 2016 - Mirrored stainless steel - 100 x 82 cm - 39.4 x 32.3 in

His art has its foundation in the transformation of base material into something mesmerising. It suggests something that is forever moving and unstable with a material that is hard and fixed. The artist makes distinct the effect of flow. He achieves a molten quality of form and an almost glacial, melting mutability. The visual impact of shimmering metal assimilating and distorting its environment - constantly changing as the viewer moves their viewpoint - speaks of possibility, potential and change. The work is a visual illusion, a tromp l’oeil, where stable forms are forever becoming. These are objects of desire - perpetually shifting, just beyond our grasp.

Transcendence - Gibbs Farm, New Zealand | 2018 - Mirrored Stainless Steel - - 11 m - 36 ft

Pontone Gallery