Karsten Oaks
"Clear Conclusions"

One of today's most respected cold workers
September 1 - November 30, 2017

Karsten Oaks _br___Clear Conclusions_

A study of Karsten Oaks' mesmerizing crystal sculptures.

As an artist, I’m not inspired by one solitary concept or action. Instead, I have several major influences which lend different aspects to my aesthetic. When I start a sculpture, I begin construction of the form. I think abstractly about fluid mechanics, and try to create a negative space within the form which gives a sense of movement to the sculpture. The process of construction itself inspires me as much as the form.

The internal cutting is largely inspired by line quality and how it can be interpreted three dimensionally. I strive to make artwork that evokes feelings similar to the way the sharpness of handwriting or the gesture of one’s hands while talking can cause the viewer to feel an emotional connection. I often find myself drawn to more aggressive, defensive or harmonious work based largely on what is going on around me and in my own life. 

When working on the design within the piece I’m using elements of dynamic symmetry such as spirals and ratios. Using different shapes in the sculpture while staying consistent with the proportions I can create a sense of harmony within what would otherwise be a disorganized form. Even after all of the major reductive cuts have been made I leave some of the design to be laid out when the rest of the piece is almost complete. I feel that this mild sense of chaos through the work’s creation gives each piece its personality and character when it is finished. 

After the glass is completely polished and I’ve had a chance to live with it, I use color to create a sense of contrast or transition. This is meant to tie together or introduce distinction. I feel the form should inform the color in a sense, creating unity or distinction in a sculpture should be mimicked by complimentary or contrasting colors. The color is meant to be the final extension of the form. It can help to draw the viewer in to the piece and then engage them and inspire exploration.