Dario Robleto, ‘Hippies and a Ouija Board (Everyone Needs to Cling to Something)’, 2003, Blanton Museum of Art

Image rights: Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art

Purchase through the generosity of The Brown Foundation, the Michener Acquisitions Fund, and the Blanton Contemporary Circle, 2004

About Dario Robleto

Resembling 19th-century curios or reliquaries, Dario Robleto’s handcrafted objects and assemblages are meditations on love, death, mourning, and American history. Robleto amasses macabre objects, then subjects them to alchemical transformation, combining them with minerals or loaded substances—such as bits of trinite glass produced from a nuclear bomb test in 1945—and melts, carves, or grinds them down, finally refashioning them into what appear to be historical objects. Fear and Tenderness in Men / A Color God Never Made (2004-5), a jewelry box-like chest containing an assortment of eccentric items that form a loose narrative around the life of a fictional American soldier, includes a broken mirror, a comb, some dried flowers, a set of teeth, and a pair of military-issued glass eyes. Robleto also works with his trademark vinyl, melting down old records and recasting them as sculptures that serve as tributes to American pop singers, such as Billie Holiday, Kurt Cobain, and Jimi Hendrix.

American, b. 1972, based in Houston, Texas