On Friday, October 5, at 5 p.m., Bender Gallery will open Cameras: Interpreters of Reality, a solo exhibition of work by glass artist Joshua Hershman. Hershman creates life-sized, kiln-cast glass cameras using the lost wax method. “I have always been interested in photography for as long as I can remember,” says the artist. “Even before I could take photos, my mom bought me a camera at a garage sale and I immediately took it apart with a screwdriver to see how it worked and what was inside.”
To make his glass cameras, Hershman creates a mold from antique or broken cameras, destroying the original camera in the process. Hershman made his first sculpture of this kind when he was a student under artist Clifford Rainey. “My first successful camera sculpture was a sandcast Kodak Brownie Six-16 camera with an enameled image of an x-ray of my own skull encased inside the body of the camera,” Hershman says. “I called it ‘Self Portrait’ and displayed it along with a transparency of the x-ray hanging in front of the camera.”
Much of Hershman’s artwork is autobiographical in some fashion. The artist was born without peripheral vision or depth perception, a condition that has since been corrected, but deeply influenced the way he sees the world. Decades of vision therapy led him to a lifelong fascination with the complex nature of the visual system, as well as the science of light and optics. His work focuses on the significance that film and photography have played in the development of contemporary global culture. “I have always been most attracted to the transparency and inherent optical properties of glass,” he says. “Glass interacts with light as no other material can and, because of this phenomena, it has the ability to transcend its own materiality and influence other fields of science and technology.”
Bender Gallery is located at 29 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. For more information, call 828.505.8341 or visit BenderGallery.com.