Polystyrene inserts and cardboard, these symbols of our consumer culture, are the materials of choice for Brooklyn-based artist Jason Rogenes. Making use of commonly disregarded aesthetic attributes, including their inherent surface qualities, color, and varying degrees of translucency, he creates a large-scale installation like an otherworldly environment designed to transport viewers into outer space using pedestrian resources. Illuminated from the inside, the work acquires a monumental and spiritual presence usually associated with totems or space stations, and is equally representative of human aspirations and accomplishments.
Rogenes affords as much care and attention in the treatment of his abundantly available material as a sculptor working in marble or alabaster would. Piece by individually carved piece is assembled into a complex structure, thoughtfully fit together according to the rules of his artistic vision. The result is not only a creative way of looking at everything in our environment beyond assigned functions and limitations but also an opportunity to reimagine ourselves with open eyes for endless possibilities.
Conceptually related to the sculptural work are his drawings, which represent a two-dimensional translation of the sculptural work, created either as preparatory studies or as documentation following an installation. Executed in ink and watercolor on paper, they illustrate a determined technology, connected to the natural world in the form of colorful planets.
Jason Rogenes was born in 1971 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He holds an MFA from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1996) and a BA from University of California, San Diego (1993). His work has been shown at Big Light Show, Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, CO (2010); Manuf®actured: The conspicuous transformation of everyday objects, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR (catalogue) (2008); Site-specific Installation at Navy Pier Walk, Chicago, curated by David Pagel (2003).