Karl Unnasch

Artist Email: karl@karlunnasch.com

Artist Website: karlunnasch.com

Medium: Sculpture, stained glass, art glass,fountains, light based, architectural accouterments.

Artist Statement

I accumulate a hoard of materials associated with the rural cultural landscape.  Much akin to the dissipation of an audio signal the farther one is from a source, the collective memories associated with the histories of these materials continue to dilute and grow “fuzzier” as time treads onward.  My use of reclaimed cultural detritus as raw materials is an attempt to slow time, recondition memory and to create a new personal narrative in the process of my studio practice.  It is with concurrent (and admittedly nostalgic) futility and hope that I quixotically press onward to put forth a first-hand account of how life “out here” in the rural spaces has a wealth of merit despite the still incredible distance (both physical and cultural) separating it from urban hubs.  Manufacturing a living ghost that is beautiful as it haunts is often the goal, all the while being aware that I am creating something that comments on its own temporal finality as it holds poise.  Old farm implements such as tractors and harvesting combines become illuminated hulks and serve as beacons to draw in the curious audience – people who perhaps have rarely seen or even considered the revered esteem once held by these monolithic beasts of the field.  As retired husks of their former glory, they are used as narrative vehicles accoutered with stained glass to become an impactful visual language device.  Stained glass is another visual reliquary of history, story and veneration that is held as a decorous standard of an “Erzeugnis”, or a “created work” that is pre-charged with associative connotations.  One of the greatest challenges that I willingly embrace is how to take these individually exalted touch points of rural existence and cultivate them to refresh the society in which I currently reside.

My commentaries illustrate a position of whimsical query and visceral response.  Attention is paid to question one’s perception of value associated with nostalgia, and/or the value attributed to memory.  My intuitive ripostes are immediate – the guffaw evoked by a poignant joke, melancholy associated with long loss newly remembered, or a playful gesture born from a need to connect with one’s innocence. With an honest stroke it is my goal to bring these differing touch points together as an impactful “call-and-response” that reflects upon a world whose blend of cultural mores is in constant fluctuation.