Venus, cast glass, 10x6x5 in
"I attended Syracuse University (class of '84) and graduated with a BFA in illustration. In the fall of 1984 I moved to New York, where I did freelance illustration. Clients included New York Times, Psychology Today, Billboard Magazine, etc. In 1992 I segued into writing/illustrating children books. Several of my illustrations were included in “The Original Art Show” at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. Work was also acquired my the Zimmerli and Maza Art Museums.
In the early 90’s my wife, Christina Bothwell, went from painting to sculpting. With my history in clay, I introduced her to some of the basics in ceramics. Eventually we both ended up casting glass, and in 2010 I transitioned to glass full time.
When I studied art in college there was always a hard line dividing the “commercial arts” and “fine arts”. In commercial art the goal was to work within the parameters of the problem to be solved, while in fine art I sought for the purest form of expression that came from my core. In doing editorial illustration for many years, I used those constraints to focus my creativity. At its best I was creating personal, idiosyncratic art while also serving as illustration. This continued and expanded when I focused my attention on writing and illustrating children’s books.
I bring this history and experience to my endeavors in glass sculpture.
I am drawn to the magnetic symbolic power that everyday objects hold, especially when used in a figurative context. In my heart, the remnants of editorial problem solving remain, except I am no longer illustrating text. Instead, observations of the heart and mind are what I am searching to reflect and comment on. Viva found objects!" -Robert Bender