Exhibition Spotlight: Wayne Strattman, “Self Illuminated” at the CRMI
Earlier this week I was invited to attend a special press-preview of an exciting exhibit happening at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, in Waltham, Ma. The show, which features the work of artist Wayne Strattman, is unique, to say the least.
Wayne Strattman is more widely known to scientific (and scientific-fiction) crowds for his research and development in the are of gas-encased glass structures. His creations, which have been aptly described as “lightning in a bottle,” are mesmerizing. Using electrified gases like neon, krypton, and argon, Strattman creates kinetic sculptures that are both feats of science and art. Strattman who has a degree in Psychology, explains that people enjoy his creations because humans “are inherently attracted to movement”.
Strattman gained notoriety for his involvement in the creation of the Borg Ship in the Star Trek movies, and says that he is a sci-fi fan himself. Some of the works in the exhibition, which are comprised of chrome and silvered glass rockets and ray-guns, speak to the place of science fiction in our culture. Says Strattman, “There is a lot of honesty in science fiction. It can make talking about contempory issues easier”. In addition to his nod to sci-fi culture, Strattman acknowledges his debt to idols from art history: In one piece called “Electric Colorfield,” Strattman references famed painter Mark Rothko’s minimalist aesthetic.
The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow night with a reception from 7:00-9:00, and will run until January 15.