The balance between function and concept is rarely straightforward in the work of Bay Area artist Randy Colosky. He’ll take the process of bronze manufacturing, usually concealed as the “behind the scenes” element left invisible and unsung in the finished creation, and bring it to the forefront. The industrial elements of bronze lost wax casting take on new aesthetic and conceptual weight, with gates and sprues (the pre-made wax forms utilized as melt-away shape holders that create passageways in the mold for the molten metal to flow through) visibly repurposed into the shape of the sculpture itself. Colosky also plays with trompe l’oeil, making convincing cinder blocks, bulging foam stuffing, books, and more out of bronze (and admits to enjoying a chuckle when people actually mistake one of his sculptures for some misplaced object of the more banal sort he modeled it after).
The results are often witty and provocative, requiring double- and triple-takes to even get a literal idea of what they are (as in, first you try to pick up one of those books, realize it’s as heavy as, well, bronze, and then laugh at yourself for not noticing the unlikeliness of a title like “The History of History: What Happened.”) The robust, abstract forms he creates from the tools of bronze casting invite reconsideration of what constitutes the merely functional as opposed to the aesthetic. (continue reading)