Acrylic as a Sculpture Media

Acrylic is an industrial material that has several visual properties. Its good durability, coupled with its clear and transparent orientation makes it a good candidate for artistic endeavors. Through the years, people have been upgrading technology to make the usage of acrylics suitable to every household artist. Because of the toxicity in its casting process, it wasn’t widely adapted as a media until now. Acrylic was an intriguing material explored by the great Alexander Calder (inventor of the mobiles). Frederick Hart attempted to first cast it in the 1970’s. He joined with Robert Chase, Sr. and formed a company known as Chesley LLC, which was meant to create acrylic sculptures. Hart finally succeeded in 1982 with his piece “Gerontion.” This brought good news to the art community.

Clear acrylic sculptures are often coveted for their ability to shape light beams. Similar to the properties of glass, acrylic’s physical properties allow a playful distortion of light to shine through it clear interiors. Many acrylic sculptures have trained for more than several years practicing and mastering these unique traits of the medium. Such artists include Vasa Mihich of Vasa Studios, Paul Sable and Melanie Hope.

Colored acrylic sculptures are also a big hit at some places. Shlomi Haziza produces vivid creation of colored acrylic and her works are prized by dozens of patrons coveting her designs. Another artist, Shahrooz Nia has developed a technique for hand-painting acrylic sculptures and giving them the feel of a traditional artwork. Acrylic artists, though in tune with mastery of the media, often report of the difficulty involved with using it. Many galleries that sell pieces made from acrylics offer them at a high price, usually over 2000 US dollars for a standard sized piece.

With technological advancements fast approaching, one may wonder if in the future, more and more innovative artworks will be seen in this ever-curious novelty medium.

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