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Beauty & SeductionJosiah McElheny
Artist Josiah McElheny discusses the intentionally problematic nature of beauty and seduction in his Total Reflective Abstraction (2004) installation, on view at Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, as well as works by fellow artists and architectural masterpieces such as Renaissance palaces.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Kurt Branstetter, Joel Shapiro, and Tom Bergin. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Josiah McElheny. Special Thanks: Donald Young Gallery, Chicago.
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Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory. Whether recreating miraculous glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings or modernized versions of non-extant glassware from documentary photographs, McElheny’s work takes as its subject the object, idea, and social nexus of glass. Influenced by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, McElheny’s work often takes the form of “historical fiction”—which he offers to the viewer to believe or not. Part of McElheny’s fascination with storytelling is that glassmaking is part of an oral tradition, handed down generation to generation, artisan to artisan.