The artist Charles Hecht at his desk
A sculpture should draw in the viewer. The viewer should participate in each of my works, whether it is by seeing, touching, caring or contributing his or her feelings. The important thing is to become involved. In "Floating Discs" the mirrored background makes the surrounding environment part of the installation and depending on where the viewer stands, the environment changes. In "Heavenly Music" the viewer can change the position of the instruments, which are all on poles, making it a different sculpture. In "Meng Po Le," the viewer is asked to directly participate in the experience by filling in the empty space with his/her own shattered dream.
Materials that are being thrown away, e.g., steel plugs, I-bar remnants and other steel remnants discarded by steel fabricators, broken glass, steel fragments in the metal shop discard bin, bleached coral rock and industrial screening scraps are transformed into meaningful works of art. This is also a great way to recycle and help to preserve our fragile environment. To make something beautiful or thought provoking out of someone else's trash is a great feeling.
New techniques are used to obtain the desired visual and textural results. For example, to create the look and feel of the reef base for the Coral Kelp series, the general shape is created in steel. Then a cutting torch is used as a paint brush to melt and manipulate the form's exterior to create this unique texture and the feeling of the cooled volcanic eruption. Bronze brazing normally used for welding is used to give the sculpture color differentiation and texture to reflect the feeling of a coral reef. The Floating Disc series uses a unique hanging unit and glass design to affix the glass to the steel frame so it can be hung like a picture. Rear supports enable this installation to be suspended from the ceiling, or placed on the floor or table.
Some sculpture series are intended to be seen under various illuminations, since the whole image changes with the amount of light. This idea is incorporated in the final design for a large Holocaust installation titled "People Forget Too Easily" under consideration by a major museum(s), to emphasize the difference between people enjoying themselves in recreational activities on top of a grassed-over gas chamber and the death of the innocent persons who died in that gas chamber. The lights are turned on for 50 seconds (life) and off for 10 seconds (death). Overhead lights are turned off and lighting from underneath is turned on and then you listen to jazz or classical music and look at the shadows of the Coral Kelp and Pinnacle series on the ceiling. That concept is incorporated into their design.
Some works involve the creation of unique glass forms showing movement. First, a steel mold is constructed to use as a guide. Then the team gathers the molten glass, utilizing varying patterns and colors of frits, which is then dragged over the steel form to to obtain the desired shape and movement.
China is a fabulous place to do creative work. I was invited to Beijing in 2003 as a Sculptor-in-Residence by the Pickled Arts Institute. The access to materials, technical facilities, skilled labor and willingness to do things "out of the box" was and is amazing. When I was not able to get the facilities and people to execute a new idea for a series of glass sculptures in the United States, a Chinese friend introduced me to a facility 500 miles from Beijing that was willing to try. We worked and learned together for more than 15 years, and the experience with that process was incredibly valuable for me and everyone involved.
I regularly traveled to China to fabricate the clouds and musical instruments for the "Heavenly Music" series and to create the glass sculptures sold individually or as part of installations. Work on my sculpture provided an opportunity to participate in and take advantage of two remarkable cultures. It also enabled me to do certain projects.
In creating the new "Floating Forms" glass series, the mold for each of the two forms was fabricated in China, the creation of the cast and blown glass put into that form is created by working with the skilled glass blowers and then the cold shop work was done in China. The mirrored steel forms are fabricated in both the United States and China. The final sculpture installation is finished at my studio Maspeth, Queens.
For an appointment to view specific works in storage at art warehouses in Beijing, or in Farmingdale, Long Island, the studio at 52-07 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth, Queens or elsewhere in Manhattan, please contact me at 917-533-4442 or email@example.com. Please feel free to view the other parts of this website.
Currently, I am considering new techniques and materials. I appreciate your interest in my work, and hope you return to these pages to see my newest works. If you wish to purchase or commission a piece, please let me know.