Artist of the Month
Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic
The “Seven Deadly Sins,” a remarkable collaboration by Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic, cleverly encapsulates these “capital vices” in glass, from peering through a key hole with envy to lustfully picking apples from a forbidden tree. Another Tate/Petrovic collaboration pictured in Artist of the Month is "Apothecarium Moderne." Tate and Petrovic are represented by Habatat Galleries of Royal Oak, Michigan.
Click on each photo to the right for full picture.
Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic
I see my sculptures as self-contained video installations. Blending a traditional craft with new media technology gives me the framework in which I fit my artistic narrative. Revelation — and in some cases self-revelation — is the underlying theme of my electronic reliquaries. My interactive pieces can be seen as disturbing because the face that stares back from the video screen — your own — prompts a variety of responses: amusement, discomfort, embarrassment, something akin to the feeling you have when someone catches you looking at your own reflection in a store window as you walk by.
But the important revelations here are in the viewer’s response to my hybrid art form and its conceptual nature. I try to bare everything — the guts of my materials and my inner thoughts — in deceptively simple narrative videos set into specimen jars. Nothing is random, all elements are thought out. These works are phylacteries of sorts, the transparent reliquaries in which bits of saints’ bones or hair — relics — are displayed. In many cultures and religions, relics are believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially for healing. My relics are temporal, sounds and moving images formally enshrined, encapsulating experiences like cultural specimens. And perhaps, to the contemporary soul, they are no less reliquaries than those containing the bones of a saint.
I strive to be an artist first and a hot glass sculptor second. Although I primarily work with glass, a material most commonly viewed as a craft material, I strive to make content-driven work that stresses the idea at its core rather than the seductive material it is made from.
Glass is a fantastic material to create work with. Once you get past the expansive technical difficulties of working with this material, it offers the creator almost endless possibilities for form, color, and content. It is one of the few materials where you work with color and form simultaneously. Glass also has the unique ability to be opaque, translucent, or completely transparent. But glass in itself is limited. It is just a material. Until it is infused with an idea, a source, or an expression, my job as an artist is not complete.
My approach to working is to make many varied parts. Most parts are made to satisfy a list for sketched pieces, with extra parts and variations being made at the same time. Often times these parts sit for months or years before they make their way into one of my pieces. I like working with these extra parts. I tend to view them as homemade found objects. As they sit on my shelves with seemingly disparate parts, some of these parts start to dialogue with each other and new ideas emerge. This gives a lot of crossover between my pieces as distinct parts get used in various series.
My pieces revolve around ideas that both intrigue and befuddle me. While these pieces ask a lot of questions, they attempt to answer none. They simply serve as a way to contain and continue a dialogue. At the nucleus of each sculpture is an idea around which the piece grows. In a sense, the way a grain of sand aggravates the oyster enough that it creates a pearl.
About Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic
Washington, D.C.- based Tim Tate and Connecticut-based Marc Petrovic have worked on collaborations over the years since they first met at Penland School of Crafts in 1992. They also each have their own body of work. Only their collaborations are featured in this August Artist of the Month section.
Tim Tate is the co-founder, creative director and marketing director of the Washington Glass Studio in Maryland near Washington, D.C. He is a sculptor who has been working in glass, steel, concrete and ceramic since 1989. He oversaw a glass casting production studio in New Orleans for three years. Tate’s reliquaries often combine blown glass, cast glass, found objects and sometimes videos. Tate’s artwork has been shown in many galleries and museums including the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Mint Museum, the University of Richmond Art Museum and the University of Virginia Art Museum. Click here for an artist resume.
Marc Petrovic graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1991. He was the recipient of the top Agnes Gund Memorial scholarship. Marc works out of his private studio that he shares with his wife, Kari Russell-Pool, near their home in Essex, Connecticut. Petrovic’s work can be found in galleries and museums around the world including the Niijima Museum of Glass in Japan, Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona, and Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin. Click here for an artist resume.
Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Habatat Galleries, Michigan, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.
The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.
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