Artist, Robert Mirek in his Oak Park studio. Photo by Brian Day.
Originally From: Detroit, Michigan Currently Reside: Lathrup Village, Michigan (residence), Oak Park, Michigan (studio) Years working as an artist: 50
How would you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?
Wall sculpture that addresses potential variations on the concepts of seeds, comets and shuttlecocks and how I envision my interpretation of them.
What mediums do you work in?
Can you talk about your process?
90% come from initial sketches (of mental musings)or drawings. 5% can be driven by found materials and their inherent qualities and 5% could be driven via literature or film. 100% of all work created is generally driven by at least a simple sketch or pre planned approach.
How do you determine the shape of one of your objects?
The current series (Seeds, Comets and Shuttlecocks) has dual compositional elements. The first needs to be a component that interacts with moving an object through space and time and the ability to manipulate that movement. The other element would contain the concentrated form of reproductive materials and their ability to reproduce based on delivery to a fertile environment or a specific location.
How do you know when it’s done?
I don’t ever know when this happens and its one of the most difficult aspects of art production that I struggle with. It’s often the suggestion of newer forms that forces my idea of finished.
How has your process evolved or changed over the years?
I’ve become more satisfied by working within a series structure. I realize that I cannot construct what I want to create within a single artwork. It is the most liberating of my discoveries and has triggered the most variations on themes.
What is different about this series Seeds, Comets and Shuttlecocks from your other series (ie Strand, Thread or Scorched Series)?
Scorched Series by Robert Mirek
Thread Series by Robert Mirek
Strand Series by Robert Mirek
Each series has a initial premise that drives overall composition through each series. My Strand Series was comprised of interlocking objects that could potentially create larger forms or systems.
The Thread Series looked at objects in an architectural or landscape architecture environment(s). Civic planning and integrated infrastructures also appear in this series.
The Scorched Series was created to show a contrast a cellular structure (drawing element) with an integrated dimensional structure (scorched pulp element) that coexists with each other. They could also be interpreted as mapped topography in a 3 dimensional modeled form.
What are you currently inspired by?
The most current series (SCS) has offered very fertile potential and I feel I have much more to explore in this area.
Who are some artists that you admire?
Stella, De Kooning, Keifer, Auerbach, Bacon, Klee, Calder, Noguchi, Raushenberg, Gorky to name just a few
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?
Working in a “flatter” format in the upcoming Tarpaulin Series has offered me a opportunity to react in a more painterly/rendered method. There is much I miss in not creating a formal fully dimensional object that is in contrast to the broad experience of suggested rendering/painting. The tarpaulin edifice also plays with the notion of an art object.
Is there something you hope the people seeing your work will take away?
Some inherent construct that speaks to them deeply. Whether object or rendered I look to inspire shared experiences.
What is something many people don’t know about you?
Not much, my life is pretty much an open book. I’m sure there’s some interesting or disturbing trait I exhibit that one might find disturbing or fascinating . . . but don’t we all.
I would never wish to pick a singular artwork, but any of those favorite artists work I mentioned prior.
Piece of advice:
From former mentors; “when in doubt, don’t”, I have always felt I can easily overstate and this has guided me well.
Again I would never pick a singular book, but if forced to pick I would say James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake and the near 2-year experience I had reading with dear friends 5 pages a week.
Not a foodie, I am often concerned at the amount of attention spent on food culture. Simple foods, simple tastes and please don’t serve me anything that has been “plated” that the wine has been “paired” for or anything “artisanal”.
What else should we know about you and/or your work?
I adore my spouse, son and dogs and I enjoy life most in their company. Studio visits are always a pleasure and encouraged . . . bring dog-treats.