Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Art: The Kinetic Works of Nemo Gould

Recently visited all things Nemomatic at his studio & open house. Such a treat to see his workspace, as well as a number of his fantastic robotic & kinetic art sculptures. His studio was full of great tools, working surfaces and many collected objects on their way to becoming something else entirely.
Antique radio parts, display devices, metal bits and pieces culled from their former uses, discarded musical instruments, vintage paper memorabilia and eclectic framed shapes of wood and metal - all lounged about his shelves. Some were in the embryonic stage of being loosely arranged into a future creation. Most were just lying in wait.
Nemo's art is technically impeccable and asthetically lush. Don't let the snobbery of the "fine art" world detract from your appreciation. His art is not the usual maker faire, clumsy nuts and bolts inventions or folksy crafts goods. Rather, it is finely tuned sculpture, meticulously designed, elegantly assembled found objects, formed with a witty sense of play and an eye for vintage modernity. Weaving together eras - from streamlined Art Deco periods, designs reminescent of Norman Bel Geddes, to today's newbrow tentacles of science fiction and "Alien" inspired Geiger images. Nemo is a sculptural maestro of today's steampunk 3D art.
Experiencing his art in person is mandatory to appreciation. The precise execution, movement, the ambient glow of his lighting, the sensuous and gleaming surfaces of his metal finishes, to the mindplay juxtapositions of various components. Each anthropomorphic sculpture or diorama feels complete as it's own character or entity. He is a master editor, never under or over doing a piece, with an extraordinary sense of design. These are distinctly American pieces yet they've more than a hint of clean Japanese asthetic.
For a fun, step-by-step look at the evolution of one of his new pieces "Nowhere Fast", click here.
Nemo currently lives and works in the SF East Bay Area with a studio in Berkeley. He has two pieces, "One-Eyed Jack" and "Boogeyman" in the current Eclectix exhibit "Dementions". Do try to get in to see them in person.
A Nemo quote on what sparks his art -
"It was just a pure fascination with what else a thing could be, other than what it was."