Mamaroneck, NY - Bullseye Resource Center New York presents a group exhibition featuring work by former resident artists Bryan Humphrey, Matthew Day Perez, and Martyna Szczęsna. In Residence will be on view January 23 to May 11, 2019.
Residencies at the Bullseye Resource Center New York are awarded to regional artists and designers who wish to explore kiln-glass for the first time, expand their current research, or work at a scale not possible in their own studios. During their group residency, Brooklyn-based artists Bryan Humphrey, Matthew Day Perez, and Martyna Szczęsna worked collaboratively and individually, developing a diverse body of work using light, space, and time as a generative starting point.
Bryan Humphrey is drawn to kiln-glass' ability to hold, shape, and bend light. During the residency, Humphrey combined digital prototyping with centuries-old glassmaking techniques. He used a custom-built CNC milling machine to carve refractory material into molds for pâte de verre, a technique in which finely crushed glass is combined with a binder, traditionally gum arabic, to create a paste that is firmly packed into a mold and fired in a kiln until the glass is fused. The resulting sculptural pendant lights shift in color density and opacity, allowing them to both capture and refract light.
Matthew Day Perez is most widely known for work that investigates the fragility and malleability of glass. While in residence, Perez eschewed this line of inquiry, focusing instead on how color, in conjunction with light and reflective materials, creates illusions of depth within glass. Perez fused large sheets of densely colored sheet glass and then delicately ground away the glass, creating unexpected colors as the density shifted. These gradated panels were then silvered, or laminated with specialty films that change color or reflect light. For Perez, this new body of work "unapologetically echoes [his] queer identity," drawing inspiration from, "queer spaces, specifically, gay bars in New York City."
Martyna Szczęsna's photographic and site-specific works often speak to intermingling and dissonance found in notions of place, cultural identity, and utopian constructs. Her recent MFA thesis exhibition at New Wight Gallery, UCLA, investigated the "mythologies ingrained in the American landscape through the lens of California public lands, self-expression, and moral relativism." During her time at Bullseye, Szczęsna used a variety of kilnforming techniques to expand on these ideas. Graffiti at national parks, chain link fences around public waterways, and the traces of human activity in pristine settings become uncanny moments in which differences in perspective can create anxiety. "This work," says Szczęsna, "aims to highlight the awful beauty of the surreal world we negotiate each day."
Humphrey, Perez, and Szczęsna all met at Dustin Yellin Studio where they continue to work as Production Manager, Material Specialist, and Photographer, respectively. Humphrey, an accomplished industrial designer and fabricator, trained at the University of Alberta where he taught design for three years before moving to New York; he oversaw the initial renovation at Pioneer Works as the Design and Build Director before settling in at Dustin Yellin Studio. Perez graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design MFA program with a concentration in glass; he is a Fulbright Fellow and glass educator with a deep affection for the medium. Szczęsna is a recent graduate of the UCLA MFA photography program. Her hybrid photographic works mix digital and analog photographic processes with sculptural elements and installation. All three artists have exhibited extensively throughout the United States and abroad.