Lois Lambert Gallery: Carmen Spera “Warriors of the Light”

Lois Lambert Gallery presents a new series of glass sculptures by artist Carmen Spera, in an exhibit titled “Warriors of the Light.” An opening reception will be held Saturday, November 15th from 6-9 PM. The works will be on view through January 4, 2015.

Spera has created 24 mask-like faces, each measuring approximately 20” long and 12” wide, using a technique he refers to as “3-D collage.” Spera layers pieces of glass on a mirror base, carves into the layers, and then adorns the surface with glass beads, pearls, and paint. Spera states that “this series of faces somehow turned into a reflection of himself.”

African tribal masks depicted by 20th century painters such as Picasso, along with the many paintings and sculptures of Buddha, inspired Spera while he was creating this series of mask-like faces. With this collection, Spera breaks from his hyper-realistic glass sculptures of everyday objects, such as pliers or cardboard boxes, giving him the freedom to repurpose the same, detail-oriented glass-working techniques to explore pattern, color and line. Starting with a mirror as the base, Spera builds each layer, watching his face obscure and disappear behind the collage. As Spera adds layers and carves back into the glass, he conceals his literal reflection to reveal a likeness in the form of an ornately patterned tribal mask. Spera did not actively recreate his own image, but by getting lost in the joy of technique and process, without a specific intention, he unwittingly created a series of loosely based self-portraits.

Carmen Spera received his MFA from New York University, and has exhibited his glass works in galleries and museums across the world. Spera’s work is on view in the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and is currently showing at New Britain Museum of American Art, CT. Carmen Spera’s pieces have also been included in numerous publications such as International Design Yearbook and Artist Design Furniture.

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