Nickolus Meisel
The artwork I make is fueled by my desire to find something unexpected in the familiar, to peel away assumptions of spatial and material context. The artwork liberates commonplace materials from context and clarifies and accentuates the nature of specific-spaces. These creative investigations into materiality have been informed by my interest in Zen Buddhism, jazz music, and quantum physics. Each of these disparate disciplines focus on the importance of exposing the superficiality of our understanding of the familiar. Quantum physics has worked to question the physical substantiality of the objects around us. Jazz musicians make us question the familiar by stretching and exploring a familiar tune like “Tea for Two” in order to unveil the beauty and significance of what is hidden or missed. As the Zen philosopher Alan Watts has stated: “Normally we do not so much look at things as overlook them.” To interact with materials and deny their intrinsic qualities would be like descending into a dream.
My Large-scale pieces interact with the volume of a room, or the exterior walls of a building. Others occur within such limited spaces as the bowl of a coffee cup. I treat these three-dimensional spaces as I would the flat space between the edges of a piece of paper when doing a drawing. With materials I bring into the space I make “marks” by placing items strategically around the room in order to enhance qualities that already exist within the format of the space. As the “drawing” develops a piece of red yarn hovers between yarn and a red line, a rubber band between a circular form and a binding device.  A piece of yarn takes on the qualities of a red line through the physical integrity of the materials nature, there is an oscillation back and forth between the object and it’s previous use.
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