When I learned of Neil Armstrong’s recent death, I instantly recalled a moment from my childhood. During my sixth grade history lesson, I had been somewhat envious of this first man to set foot on the moon. At one time or another, most of us have probably wished we could travel to space. However, considering Georgetown does not prepare us to become astronauts, this isn’t exactly a plausible reality. Fortunately, artist Rebecca Kamen has brought space down to Earth. Her impressive exhibit within the Spagnuolo Gallery in the Walsh Building provides a visual solar system for all to see.
Kamen’s art truly captures the essence of the universe. Her sculptures contain the surreal elements that embody the natural phenomena of earth. By integrating art and science, Kamen portrays the fluid structure of energy systems. Many of her sculptures show the composition of nature; they bear a slight resemblance to the diagrams we’ve seen in biology and chemistry textbooks. Thankfully, they avoid the pesky scientific jargon that usually accompanies these illustrations.
The most notable aspect of Kamen’s work is her delicate balance of simplicity and complexity. While Kamen’s macro view of the universe reveals the big picture of existence, her micro outlook delves deeper into the intricacies of our globe. This creates a seductive effect, luring visitors into the depth of her sculptures. The three-dimensional aspect of Kamen’s work screams a subtle truth: There is much more to art than one initially notices. Kamen achieves this effect by layering graphite and acrylic on sheets of Mylar. These layers are modeled after pages; when combined and woven together, they form a complex story.