A Conscious Purpose – Mirror series by Fernando Mastrangelo

Mirror series by Fernando Mastrangelo 1

During the last few decades, artists and designers have increasingly been raising awareness of climate change. Such is the case of New York-based Fernando Mastrangelo, who for years has been creating sculptural objects inspired in natural settings and in how they are suffering as a result of our current climate crisis. Melting Glaciers, changing coastlines, and extreme heat are constant sources of inspiration for this multifaceted creative mind.

Mastrangelo, who holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, worked as an assistant for the mixed-media artist Matthew Barney before opening his design studio where he develops large-scale sculptures, everyday objects, and experiential installations which are either commissioned by high-end restaurants and brands, or owned by collectors or art museums like the Brooklyn Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

Inspired by pressing issues related to climate change, Mastrangelo frequently works in series of sculptural-looking objects, such as tables, rugs, bookshelves, or mirrors, on which he applies a myriad of textures and volumes coming from natural or recycled and repurposed materials. Sand, salt, silica, and crushed or powder glass are his go-to materials.

Fernando’s approach to design is crystallized in the many mirrors he has intervened over the years. For example, in the Magma series, Mastrangelo applied thick three-dimensional layers of black sand and epoxy resin over gold mirrors as a means to bring attention to the extreme heat our world will increasingly face. The resulting works resemble capricious volcanic rocks that contrast with the golden and silky geometric surfaces of the mirrors.

Yet in another series of more subtle-looking mirrors, which are part of the furniture series titled DRIFT Collection, the artist recreated the scenery of the breaking Patagonian glaciers by including delicate and thin layers of hand-dyed sand which bring to mind a gestural abstract painting. It seems as if the designer treats mirrors as canvases that also bear an interactive nature. When looked at, one becomes part of them. Here sculpture collides with painting and design, all with an ecologically conscious purpose.

fernandomastrangelo.com

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Written by Constanza Ontiveros