Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Michael Biello Light Sculptures

If you have been to our Rittenhouse location, you have undoubtedly noticed our new, incredible light fixtures by local artist, Michael Biello.  We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pick Michael's brain! Read the interview below to gain some insight into Arcadia's newest featured artist!

I read that you went to school for ceramics, how did you begin creating light sculptures?
@ UArts I had to choose one major … I chose clay even though I was always involved in both art and theater – I consider myself an interdisciplinary artist but back then majoring in interdisciplinary art wasn’t an option. 
My early clay pieces @ UArts incorporated light … I called them headlights - I think the light thing comes from my involvement in theater … the light adds a sense of drama to the sculpture – also light is something I relate to spiritually.

Are there any specific reasons for the light sculptures that you chose to display at our Rittenhouse location?
I visited Arcadia Rittenhouse and inspired by the space I made the 3 chandeliers – Arcadia is like a jewel box made up of Eco pleasures and treasures – I feel the light sculptures are part of the Arcadia collection using new and recycled materials to create a thing of beauty.
Female orb lighting the way in the dressing area …
Red thread chandelier over the entrance desk to echo the actual essence of thread used to make the clothes –
A slinky chandelier in the gift shop – fun and functional at the same time – like the tabletop objects in the room. 

What are some of your inspirations when creating your light sculptures? It appears that you work within different themes- some figurative and some more ornamental.
I’m inspired by love and beauty and spirit and all those things that there’s way too little of in the world of film and art and theater …
Too much attention to fear and war and darkness and depression and blood and gore – of course darkness exists and I face it head on when I have to.
Still … I tend to look to the light for my inspiration and create from there – my best work comes when I let the spirit move me. 

Your choice of materials is extremely unique. I am in love with the one chandelier we have at Rittenhouse- the one that has a yarn spool integrated into it. It is such an unexpected choice, yet it is still so refined and elegant. What informs your choice of materials?
Chandelier’s are mostly made of hard materials – metal/glass/plastic etc. - I feel Arcadia is about soft … the spool of thread came to me and I followed it’s lead – it’s one of my favorites too.
You stated that you like to collaborate frequently. How does collaboration add to your experience of art creation? Is there anyone in particular that you work with the best or get the most out of?
I love collaboration – you get to work on creative projects with other artists/and lovers of art – visioning together - traveling a mysterious journey - facing many challenges which ultimately teach us (if we stay on ride) what we need to know and take us where we need to go.
Dan Martin  - my life partner and composer and all around awesome human being is my favorite person to collaborate with – he writes the music I write the lyrics and together we make some beautiful music – we just completed an amazing collaboration called In My Body … it was awesome! 
Michael Biello & Dan Martin
Besides creating visual art, you are also a song writer and performance artist. Additionally, you are also very involved in the theater.  That seems like an extremely creatively demanding life- do you find any frustration in expressing yourself through multiple mediums and outlets?
Yes … but isn’t frustration part of the human experience? – at least my frustration is centered around the things I love to do … my art and music.
Sometimes I feel a bit crazy going from visual art to theater to writing to performing to directing but I can’t not do any of these things … each of them calls me to be and I go and enter creative space where I am most comfortable … and all is well.
Could you tell us a little bit about your studio space in Old City? It sounds and looks like a magical space. Is this where you do most of your construction and building?
Do you have any new and exciting projects in the near future?
My studio is my creative sanctuary – a safe space to open my creative channel and trust what comes in (and out) - it protects me from the world outside – I can take my time and do what I please – lots of magical things happen here – from art and music to performances to rehearsals to salons to dinners to weddings to …
It’s filled with new clay and recycled parts and glass and wood and music and words and songs and all that good stuff that makes up our creative world.
On the art side: I’m making new chandeliers wrapping the crystal and metal arms with thread. It’s my cotton chandelier series.
On the theater side: Dan and I were accepted by New York Stage And Film to workshop our new musical marry harry this summer … very exciting for us!
Also introducing and offering the interior design services of Carlo Fiammenghi into the mix @ Biello Martin studio. 
… and the beat goes on.
Biello Martin Studio

Biello Martin Studio
 Next time you're in Rittenhouse Square, make sure to swing by Arcadia and check out the Michael Biello light sculptures on display! They are truly incredible and not to be missed.

All images via www.biellomartin.com

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