The blown glass circus tents that I create are representations of those performers that I feel a connection to. The “freaks” on exhibit manipulate illusion and reality for the sake of entertainment. People are drawn to these spectacles because while they present themselves as normal, they are aware of their own flaws and how easily they could be exposed. These performers have become powerful symbols of a common anxiety that underneath the apparent normality of our bodies we are as divided as the Conjoined Twins, as fragmented as the Human Torso, and as excessive as the World’s Heaviest Man.
Using precious metal leaf, I gild the interior wall of my glass tents and scratch drawings into the surface. Applying reverse painting techniques, I seal the metals from tarnishing or deteriorating while at the same time adding color. Inside each tent is a mirror distorting the viewer’s image to match the remarkable characteristic of that particular performer. My intention is for viewers to see themselves inside the tents and realize that we are all living curiosities.
Blown Glass, Verre Eglomise
16” x 11” x 11”