Visceral. Provocative. Multifaceted. These are just a few of the myriad observations one could make about Alexis Silk’s work. Working with molten glass, Silk creates sculpted figures that evoke a host of strong and perhaps conflicting feelings as they offer commentary on not just the human form, but also human nature in general, including gender roles and society’s objectification of the female body.
Calling the process of working with hot glass “a dance, intensely hot, urgent, complex, subtle, and immediate,” Alexis Silk could also very well be describing the results of her process. Each of her glass figures, which range in expression from intense to whimsical, is masterfully crafted entirely free-hand by Silk and illustrates that there’s more to us as people than what meets the eye. Lurking under the surface of each of Silk’s sculptures—and each of us—is a richly complex layering of colors, waiting to be discovered.
Finding inspiration for her artwork all around her, Silk notes that “the human figure, in its many forms, is a constant source of connection to humanity, life, the self, and the infinite. Society is the context within which humanity exists and an inexhaustible source of content for art.”
One unusual aspect of Silk’s work is the scale of her blown-glass pieces, some of which measure almost six feet tall including their steel frames. Silk explains that “the process of making these large pieces is dramatic. It involves up to 50 or 60 pounds of molten glass on the end of a five-foot-long blow pipe and requires the assistance of up to seven strong, skilled assistants working with me while I sculpt the glass.”
Silk, who graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, has been working full-time as an artist since 2006. She continues to study with renowned glass masters in Italy and beyond, and her work is showcased in museums, galleries, private collections and fine art shows around the world. Silk, who is represented by Mattson’s Fine Art, will be exhibiting some of her work at this year’s upcoming Artexpo New York—make sure to check out the Mattson’s Fine Art booth (#263) at the show!
For more on Alexis Silk, visit her website.