Historically reserved for royalty and religion, Victor Solomon transforms the tradition of stained glass by producing backboards adorned with jewels.
Disparate narratives surround the artworks, in what Solomon describes as “a religious devotion to sport; the athlete as modern-day king of court.”
Created in the traditional Tiffany Style, Solomon puts over 100 hours into each piece – designing, cutting, soldering and gold plating the works. The intricate craftsmanship and luxury materials become an analogy for worship and luxury associated with today’s sports.
Highsnobiety caught up with the artist to find out more:
Who is Victor Solomon?
Victor Solomon – filmmaker and artist from Boston, but currently living and working in San Francisco.
Are there any artists or other influencers that you believe really inspire your work?
There’s a disparate group of artists that have influenced me over the years: Norman Rockwell, Olafur Eliasson, Nicole Wermers, Ry Rocklen, Ruby Sky Stiler, Nicole Wermers and Sterling Bartlett.
The backboards in “Literally Balling” are created in the traditional Tiffany stained glass method. Where did you learn the skill?
Before this project I’d had no experience with glass whatsoever, but the concept required the medium so I apprenticed under Bay Area glass-masters for a year to learn the craft.
Do you work in other mediums aside from stained glass?
I’m interested in a number of mediums and let the idea dictate the direction it requires. Next I’m exploring brass, watercolor and some more sophisticated textile work.
Luxury. Opulence. Basketball. Elaborate on how these are intrinsic to the narrative of “Literally Balling.”
Basketball is an interesting vessel because it’s class-proof: from poorest to richest, the game stays the same.
Stained glass had historically been a symbol of wealth and power and modern athletes have become cultural icons and kings of the court in their own right.
However, luxury is naturally ironic because of it’s inherent fragility – while you may have “arrived” when you can adorn superficial things with luxury material, you often give up the object’s own function at the same time.
Your solo exhibition opened at Joseph Gross Gallery on February 25. What else is on the cards for 2016?
Honored to have my first solo exhibition in New York at Joseph Gross – looking ahead to a solo presentation at Nada in May, LA in the fall and something very special for Miami Basel in the winter!
Works from Victor Solomon’s “Literally Balling” are currently on show until April 2 2016 at Joseph Gross Gallery, NYC. To stay up to date for his next exhibition, head over to Victor Solomon’s website.
- Words: Laura Roughneen