ARTINFO article by Chris Bors / by dante2

BROOKLYN—Erik Guzman’s finely crafted kinetic sculptures are both mysterious and challenging, and the three created for his current solo exhibition, “Who Made Who” at Brooklyn’s Front Room Gallery, are no exception. Much of Guzman’s work is participatory. Relying on motion sensors, his machines start spinning as you come close to them and, in each, a high wattage bulb lights up. While the three pieces have a similar metal armature, they have distinct aqua-resin casings and personalities: Beacon, the Watcher’s spinning bulb picks up steam and then slows; Beacon, the Decider’s wobbles slightly and moves at a constant rate; and Beacon, the Thinker’s moves at a more leisurely pace. The bulbs cast shadows across the room, and the beauty of Guzman’s forms and the delicate rhythm of his engineering create a Zen moment. Like some of Matthew Barney’s sculptures, Guzman’s intricately built devices could belong to an alien race from a parallel world. In the second gallery, a series of laser-etched glass panels lean against the wall in wooden mounts. Incredibly thin and detailed lines form shapes and patterns that evoke gears, church architecture, Japanese temples, and Guzman’s own mechanical sculptures. On the opposite wall, the same imagery is repeated in backlit laser etchings on sheets of paper that are displayed on wooden frames reminiscent of ancient Japanese screens. The overall atmosphere of this show is like the laboratory of an old-fashioned, hands-on artist-inventor.

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