Sunday March 27, 2011 | by Andrew Page

Three Questions For ... Jason Chakravarty

FILED UNDER: Artist Interviews, New Work

Jason Chakravarty at work in the studio.

GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: What are you working on?
Jason Chakravarty:
Lots of “stuff,” lots of deadlines … finding the sun in Illinois. Stretching the capacity of any technique intrigues me. In my kiln castings, I’m constantly trying to get glass to wander into areas that it’s not supposed to, typically because they’re too thin or small. I’m having some pleasing results, yet, often the overall composition proves to be the perfect scale for a collector’s fireplace mantle or the corner of their desk next to the Post-It notes. With more recent works, such as Where’s North From Here (2010), I’m spending more time collaging in the wax stage. The goal here is to not only require more from the medium but also to create more substantial compositions.

Jason Chakravarty, Timed Killer, 2010. Cast, blown, soldered glass, xenon. H 8, D 6. collection: jim embrescia

With the illuminated works where kiln castings are combined with a blown sphere on top, such as A New Throne (2010) or Timed Killer (2010), I’m designing compositions that will focus/direct the light to actually activate the imagery on the castings. I’ve also become interested with hot sculpting and illuminating forms made in the hot shop. Recently in an attempt to loosen up my studio practice, listen to some good music and to actually the enjoy time in the hot shop, I took a workshop with the de la Torre brothers. It was excellent to be a student again and to have two of my most revered artists helping me in the shop. In addition I’ve focused much of my time visiting hot shops and working with sculptors whose technique, and even sometimes art I respect including Eoin Breadon, Sleepy, Nadine Saylor, and Scott Darlington. Results can be seen in works including Spatial Constraints (2010) and Star Sailor (2010).

Jason Chakravarty, Where's North From Here, 2010. Cast glass. H 22, W 6 in. collection: anne giffell

GLASS: What artwork have you experienced recently that has moved you, and got you thinking about your own work?
Everyday life is the largest contributing factor to my work. My family, friends, peers, students, traffic, billboards, headlines, trends, the air, the weather … did I mention the sun?

Gradually my work has taken a shift and the narratives have become more biographical. My current work is informed by observing relationships. At the moment, I’m interested in the evolving forms of personal interfaces of communication. Electronic social networks bring together pasts, presents, and futures. It’s a legal form of voyeurism that exposes lives without the constraint of actually contacting an individual.

One can know everything about someone’s life down to what they ate for dinner without ever actually asking. A person can become and remain close from a distance. Thus the result negates the need for a real friendship, for human contact.

Jason Chakravarty, Spatial Constraint, 2010. Hot sculpted glass, neon. H 20, W 10, D 6 in.

GLASS: Where is it possible to see your work?
The work can always be seen at Thomas R. Riley Galleries, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, and K. Allen Gallery. I’m also involved in group exhibitions in the spring and summer including Fête d Verre, “MONA @ 30“ at the Museum of Neon Art, “Summer Glass Invitational at Exhibit A running in conjunction with Glass Fest at Corning, “10×10×10” at the Hodge Gallery, Glass Carnival at Flame Run, Glass Weekend with Riley Galleries, and a solo exhibit at Theil College is planned for early 2012. And of course, there’s always my Website at

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.