When a person thinks of the word "Art", they most commonly think of a painting or two, perhaps hanging up in a gallery or displayed on their wall. There are forms of art that are simply more common than others, for example painting, drawing, singing or playing music, etc. However, the official definition of art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination to produce works for beauty or emotional power". That being said, something that is considered "art" does not have to be in a specific form whatsoever. In fact, inspiration can be found almost anywhere and (with some skill) can be created into something amazing. In the words of famous country singer K.D. Lang, "Look- art knows no prejudice, art knows no boundaries. Art doesn't really have judgment in it's purest form. So just go, just go."
One particular artist that is perpetuating the idea of art that has no boundaries is John Bassett of Brookline. Bassett uses recycled materials including bottles, plates, wood windows, and construction material to create original works of glass art. As a previous carpenter and architectural draftsman, he found a love for creating things, especially by re-using old stuff and recycled material. In 1979, this turned into a passion for creating one-of-a-kind glass artwork. "I always liked making things", Bassett says. "As a little kid I banged together scrap wood with old nails in my grandmother's barn. I worked most of my life as a carpenter. I also always like to draw and paint. Making things with glass and wood is keeping on doing things I enjoy."
In John's opinion, each piece of art says something about its maker. Each piece says something about what inspires the artist, and what flows outward when they are expressing themselves. However, self-expression is not the only thing that should be taken into account. "At its best it also should somehow touch the viewer. Things that are only self-expressive are dull. Who's interested in artists besides their families and critics? Art could be narrative, like religious art, or exotic like landscapes and seascapes."
John tries to please his viewers with art that is both entertaining and even funny at times. His artwork does not follow one emotion, but instead crosses an entire spectrum of emotions that he was perhaps feeling when he created them. For his sillier pieces, Bassett hopes that he can even make people laugh. Art doesn't have to always be serious- it can be fun! Check out some of John's pieces below.
As you can see above, John has found a true skill for taking something rather simple and transforming it into a beautiful work of art. His pieces are the epitome of artwork that crosses boundaries and defies the normal constraints of what constitutes art. If an artist is inspired by a particular material, whether it be glass, cloth, paper, or even something as silly as straws, they should never hesitate to take this material and elevate it into something one-of-a-kind. If Bassett and his pieces aren't proof enough, stay tuned for other artists to be featured soon.
Be sure to check out Brookline Open Studios on April 25th and 26th if you are interested in learning more about the Brookline art scene. Or, check out John's personal website as www.basglas.com.
Watch a demo of how it works!