I just got back from the Chihuly exhibit at the De Young, and it’s really phenomenal. I wrote down a couple quotes I thought were really great:
…Chihuly is a performance artist whose installations function not just as set pieces, but as sets – theatrical stages upon which he, his works, and their audience are all protagonists.
“Obviously people are going to look at them and see things they want to see in them. I prefer that than if I told them what it is they should be seeing.” – Chihuly
After seeing his work, I don’t understand how people can only call it a craft instead of art. He had these really beautiful descriptions about the relationship between glass blowing and nature. Aside from how organic and primitive the final results look, nature seems almost the primary artist – gravity and fire and maybe even water are all key tools of the art. Glass wants to be and imitate nature. It’s such a visceral experience to be surrounded by his work. It just makes you feel so foreign to yourself.
At first I wished I had brought my camera, but forcing a three-dimensional experience into a flat object isn’t fair to the art. In fact, it just doesn’t work. It’s like what people say about the Mona Lisa: you can’t really appreciate it until you see it for yourself.