Bloom Projects: Michael Delucia, Appearance Preserving Simplification

Michael DeLucia (lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) uses sculpture and installation to suggest a conflict between the digital and physical realms, underscoring a growing tension between the abstract and the real.  At the core of DeLucia’s artistic practice is humanity’s changing phenomenological and spatial relationship to 3D experiences, particularly in regard to increased mediation by digital references and territories. “I wonder about the condition of sculpture in the technological age,” comments DeLucia, who observes that “today we work on the computer, which is an abstract and spatially fragmented place, and 99% of people will only see an exhibition on-line.”

DeLucia blurs typical associations of digital and physical realms by “sculpting” via online tools and by allowing a computer to create the physical carving.  He begins his process by selecting stock models from online software catalogs (think: clip art or digital ready-mades), typically sourced by architects and animation/video game artists to develop 3D modeling.  He manipulates the images by stretching and compressing them; then programs them into a computer-controlled router (CNC) that carves the impressions into formica and plywood sheets.

For MCASB’s next Bloom Projects, DeLucia will convert the gallery and reception area into a corporate-styled waiting area, using faux versions of luxurious architectural materials. Using elements from virtual environments of CAD workspaces, video games, and CGI films, DeLucia applies these references to the physical space at MCASB to highlight the disparity between the illusion of screen-based media and the reality of 3D space. The artist will project virtual objects onto the room, cutting the objects’ impressions into physical surfaces with a CNC router. The flawless precision of the machined surfaces will allow for a seamless illusion, and the result will be an uncanny and generic environment that lacks specificity in its form.  The room’s contents (ie. chairs, desk, fish tank, coffee table, magazines, etc.) will be carved into the medium, revealing a true materiality that is often concealed. The work will materialize as a fragmented space where mundane objects have left ghostly remains as they have entered a more abstracted reality. This work is newly commissioned by MCASB.

DeLucia (b. 1978, in Rochester, NY) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. After studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001, he pursued a degree in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London and graduated in 2004. In 2008, Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Brussels gave Michael DeLucia his first solo exhibition.  Since then, his works have entered prestigious private collections and have been exhibited at CRAC Alsace, the Sculpture Center in New York, the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. DeLucia’s monographic catalogue will be published in Spring 2015.



Special Thanks to:

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) exhibition and education programs are generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Nordstrom; Towbes Foundation; Dedalus Foundation; Ann Jackson Family Foundation; Community Events & Festivals Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission; Mosher Foundation in honor of Barry Berkus, recommended by Dr. Bruce McFadden; Montecito Bank & Trust; High Tide Foundation; and contributions from our Board of Trustees and many generous individuals. MCASB Curator's Council is gratefully acknowledged for their support. Additional significant support is provided by The James Irvine Foundation; Getty Foundation; Hutton Parker Foundation; Williams-Corbett Foundation, and Santa Barbara Foundation. Special thanks to: Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center; Telegraph Brewery; and Wayne McCall & Associates.

Visionary support for Bloom Projects: Michael DeLucia, Appearance Preserving Simplification is provided by Kyle Brace, and Anthony & Patricia Craddock. Major Support is provided by 11R Eleven Rivington, Connelly & Light, Carole Server & Oliver Frankel, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, and Galerie Nathalie Obadia. Additional support provided by Zoe & Joel Dictrow, Cindy & Andrew Bermant, Nancy & Michael Gifford, Laura Macker Johnston, Jacquelyn Klein-Brown, Debby Peterson, Laurie & Marc Recordon, and Jenn Kennedy & Georgene Vairo. Special thanks to Augusto Arbizo, Schane Craddock, and Lauren Ryan.


[Press Release]