John Mosler, one of our favorite deep thinkers, has a new show around the changing and overlapping complexities of the world. John is one of those deeply informed people who use their built-in antennas to bring in seemingly disconnected bits of information and output incredibly detailed yet seemingly casual pieces of work. If you are in NYC anytime soon, we heartily recommend a visit to this master sculptor’s studio. We promise you it will be memorable. If you get a chance, ask him about his amazing jacket collection. Just sayin’…
What is the new work about?
Had an idea for a conceptual thread for the new body of work but it went out the window as my state of being was so different every time I entered the studio in such a multi-dimensionally messed up world. So I just rolled with what was happening for three or four pieces and on to the next one or few… and unknowingly, the whole process created a very diverse body of work that makes sense as one.
I have been working on relief layered and surface application — sometimes three layers that create significant movement and incredible versatility in adding a surface sculptural element that allows for very specific communication of whatever I am seeking for the viewer to embrace. The challenge and exciting part is that when making the Sculpture form, I have chosen the surface intention simultaneously so the process of form and surface are as one form though one structure with up to three elements of surface… very focussed, intense, patient and intentional as I begin the making of the work.
For the Framed work… these are CnC frames with elevated platforms for each component allowing relief/space from the surface of the frame. I have over ten years worked on evolving surfaces to this sculptural level and look at these works as a form of relief sculpture.
Remember, I am always thinking of a state of being, generally figurative or sociological as well at times. The Two Dimensional approach allowed for bringing the communication of that state of being of a couple, family or community. Each work has intentional surfacing relief produced for the most part in the kiln, but some components of the Two D work incorporate Graffiti paint. In the Two D case, the paint is more of an alternative application option to achieve the composition I am seeking.
“The Graffiti Paint allowed me to take a form I am familiar with and generate a sense of drama and simultaneous beauty”
What’s going on with those yummy street art fluorescent colors?
Interesting you say street art. Yup, Graffiti paint and a very emotional intense process that has to occur over the period of say two hours, max three. The Graffiti Paint allowed me to take a form I am familiar with and generate a sense of drama and simultaneous beauty. The choices are intuitive to the form — think figurative/human state of being… the application and creating composition on 3D with negative space… Wow, don’t know how I made it happen but my hands and arms and mind just had this magic happening. One, the yellow/pink is tightly wrapped and the Graffiti brings a buoyancy and sense of hope and striving/finding beauty and hope in extreme difficulty… motion, process… this is a work where transition and evolution is happening right before your eyes. The Fuchsia/Blue piece opposite: beautiful flowing form with negative space and then the application of the Graffiti paint brings a beauty but intensity and drama.
I hate referring to the pandemic… I consider the work timeless expressions in periods of the rarest of challenging times over the course of history. Too long to get into Graffiti street art aspect other than to say application to the 3D form, that history of Graffiti was in me as I was making the work. Graffiti spans tagging to fine art, but I think this use of the material is pretty unique in intention and application to this type of form.
How do you make these?
The 3D Sculpture form: ten years of working on a material that makes them work at very high temperature. Then the sculptural relief surface can only be achieved at very high temp with complete control at various stages of the firing. Ten years of moving to more and more relief, multi-layered and sculptural surfaces that resonate drama and beauty together.
How can people see them in person?
The current exhibit is running through May 27th by appointment. https://johnmoslerworks.com/collections/current-exhibition-2021-copy-copy/
What are you wanting to work on next?
I’m looking at a figurative show in the fall. I make them, maybe ten a year… smaller works, very emotional and guttural….as well moving back to coil building from slabs. The end forms will relate, but the surfacing of the coil work allows for lots of range in generating surfaces on the form… add the sculptural patinas I’m using now and Wow! Another level.
Unrelated question, but you are about the coolest looking guy our age we know. Any hints about your sartorial influences?
I love fashion and like art. It just comes to me; I just throw it on. Love unusual clothes and glasses. And just be me; no thought of what others might think.