Jeffrey Sarmiento, Tower Block I, 2008
enameled and cast glass
9.875 x 34.5 x 1.25 inches installed
Photo: D. Williams
Portland, OR - Bullseye Gallery is pleased to present the graphic and richly layered artwork of Jeffrey Sarmiento. The exhibition, Translations, will be on view from August 12 – September 27, 2008.
Throughout his career, artist Jeffrey Sarmiento has mined his family history for inspiration, juxtaposing it with his personal experience of ethnicity. “The tension between the inherited and the constructed activates my work,” he explains. “My work is an exploration of cultural roots through a strategy of self-imposed mismatches. The expression of my Filipino American heritage remains a constant, but I manipulate and remix this identity though new contexts. I intentionally work far from home to find new geographies, histories and languages. My attempts at assimilation force both a change in perspective as well as a reinforcement of held beliefs and values.”
Much of Sarmiento’s artwork takes the form of books and encyclopaedia volumes. By using glass as the medium upon which the information is printed,” he explains, “I am able to compose and rearrange content to create new visual statements. Complex readings of the image are made possible through fusion, transparency and optics.”
Sarmiento’s studies and teaching have taken him around the world, providing him with new cultural contexts to explore. After a recent trip through the Baltic States, he began a graphic response to the crumbling concrete and steel facades of the former Soviet occupation. “These forms,” he explains, “are re-presented as glass sculptures that utilize kilnforming and digital cutting for sharp and angular architectural interpretations. Through the refinement of works derived from old Soviet forms, [I] signal a new cultural perspective for [myself], as well as a celebration of a new era in Baltic society.”
Sarmiento pursued his education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and later at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he also taught. He has received accolades and fellowships from UrbanGlass (Brooklyn, NY), the Creative Glass Center of America (Millville, NJ), Pilchuck Glass School (Stanwood, WA), and the Fulbright Fellowship to Denmark. Most recently, his work was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2008 Bombay Sapphire Prize. Currently, Sarmiento is an instructor at the University of Sunderland in England as a part of his Research Councils UK Academic Fellowship in Glass for 2006-2011. His work is included in the collections of the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft (Denmark), the Museum of American Glass (Millville, NJ), and the Rhode Island School of Design Artist Book Collection (Providence, RI).
Download: Jeffrey Sarmiento July 17, 2008