We had the pleasure of attending the opening of ‘din din – An Exhibition of New Work by Jerry Mischak‘ at Industry Gallery last night which was held from 6:30 to 8:30pm in DC. The exhibit consisted of the installation piece dinner table/such a night which is a 36-ft long table with 40 plates, 80 pieces of flat ware, 45 glasses, 25 empty wine bottles, and 100 empty water bottles, all wrapped in more than 3000 yards of orange vinyl tape. Also part of the exhibition were 12 chairs (found objects) that were reconstructed via sanding, cutting with addition of plastic, Styrofoam and wood. These chairs were also encased in various colored vinyl tape.
Mischak states “dinner table/such a night evokes the remnants and memories of a grand dinner. Who was there? Who did you sit next to? Where were the conversations? What was the food like? DId it get out of hand? Did you say the wrong things? Did you move ahead with your career? The chairs are separate thoughts from the enormous table, although as chairs they can relate.”
The first questions that came to our mind was “How long did it take to wrap the table and all the silverware?” “Why not incorporate the chairs around the table?” and “Why was the color orange chosen for the table?” But that’s just us. All the pieces did capture your attention and one couldn’t help but want to sit on the chairs, run their hands across the table, or be mischievous and pluck off the tape to see underneath.
About the Artist: Jerry Mischak grew up in Newark, New Jersey, in a house that he says had his first two studios – the dining room and front porch his mother converted into a beauty parlor, and a dirt floor basement where he built monsters and made movies with an 8mm Bell and Howell camera. These were the places he could be alone and creative. “I once made a figure out of wood wrapped it with strips of white cloth, put it in a metal box and buried it in the back yard. It was after to my first viewing of The Mummy with Boris Karloff, my mom got worried she thought I was getting a little crazy. It was a time and world of fantasies, and performance while building the objects that helped create these stories.”
“I feel that my work comes out of those early exploits and the industrial urban sections of Jersey where I would travel as a kid and later as a teen. Where the bridges embrace the port and the factory buildings.”
Mischak cites an affinity for the work of Jorge Pardo, Ernesto Neto and Franz West for “their ability and vision to cross lines of sculpture, architecture and design.” He also admires the work of Tejo Remy & René Veenhuizen, saying “to me they are always on the edge, their concepts are genuine, clear and sometimes humorous.”
Mischak received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has exhibited his work at the Palmer Museum, Penn State University; Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA; Islip Art Museum; Lehman College Art Gallery, NY; Pavel Zoubok Gallery, NY; Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York; the Boston Center for the Arts; and, Diverse Works Gallery, Houston. Mischak is also a recipient of the Howard Foundation Fellowship and Rhode Island State Council of the Arts Fellowship.
What questions do you find yourself asking when you view these exhibition pieces?