Fermi National Laboratory



John Stanicek - Artist Statement

The Mechanical Muse The inspiration for these works comes from the everyday encounter with machines. The imagery of the automated environment and our contact with it forms the subject matter of this exhibition. Every day we are exposed to machines and mechanical operations. Still, we seldom consider our encounter with these objects significant. Their presence and influence are often overlooked. We like them for the work they do and dismiss them as merely background conveniences, yet this relationship is constant, repetitive, and significant.

It is the imagery of the machine, its' components and clock-like mechanisms, that is the stimulus for this collection of drawings and paintings. These works explore and exploit the mechanical forms around us, controlled by aesthetic impulses rather than an idea of real function. These are hard surface landscapes, where the representative machine is the vehicle used to investigate the explicit form, precise line, color, and exterior texture.

In each of these drawings, I've explored the tense relationships of various elements whose visual interpretation and character impart a condition of conflict. The clockwork of gears, levers, and forms suggest movement and force. These elements move, rotate, slide, and twist. They imply precision, certainty, energy, torque and velocity. There are, however, other forms that suggest volume and immutability, which are counterpoint to those forces and create in the image a location of rest. Combining these elements, I permitted them to act on one another to influence, restrict, and compete for dominance. These shapes and the impression they convey project a cadence and special rhythm both complex and engaging.


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last modified 10/26/2004   email Fermilab
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