I've known Mike Dee for a long time and he's been making art for as long as I've known him. I interviewed him about the sculpture I showed a picture of last week, as well as what else he's been up to lately.
1) What inspired your latest sculpture?
Following the Melted Hearts And Deadly Force show in September 2009, I became interested in increasing the scale of the Heartsmelt series and employing elements of architecture. Last summer, Plastics Make It Possible contacted me about doing a plastic Eiffel Tower or arc for the Philadelphia International Flower Show, which was really cool, because I had just started a new series of drawings of St. John's Wort flowers to go along with the ongoing Jacketed Hollow Point series. I am always excited to do more accessible public projects that will be viewed outside of the standard gallery setting such as gardens, store windows, building facades, and rooftops.
2) Where will the sculpture end up after the show?
The multi colored Lexan tubes and the PVC pipe connectors will be recycled locally in Philadelphia, while the neon will be shipped back to Los Angeles for future projects.
3) Do you like the finite nature of such sculptures? Is that part of their beauty that they don't last long? Do you approach such sculptures differently than more longer-lasting works?
I like the finite nature of these types of projects, because it becomes more about the experience, like seeing a band live, or going to watch an eclipse or meteor shower. You were there and you were engaged with the lights, sounds, and movements for a limited amount of time. People remember where they were and their enthusiasm. Longer lasting works of mine are generally produced at more of a human or home-related scale and don't involve complex interactive or hardware components. I've recently found that I like the immediacy of photography and drawing for producing archival works which reference the concepts and materials used in the installations and large sculptures
4) What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on a suite of drawings, a suite of photographs, and two interactive sculptures, as well as doing freelance photography of bands and playing fuzz bass in a new "punk rock" project. The newer art and music has taken on more of darker tone and recalls the earlier work that was produced in New York and Ohio. Between my job as a vis com professor and being a new homeowner I have been very busy since November.
5) That's a wrap! Any last words of wisdom?
I guess in the words of Augustus St. Gaudens and Jeff Koons: "To the beauty in simple things." But then again there is always Oscar Wilde and The Jesus And Mary Chain, "We may have been in the gutter, but we were looking up at the stars."
Watch Mike make a sculpture on this video!
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