American artist John Moran is a unique figure in the international glass art scene. He works with sculptural glass in a large format, and his work makes a statement about our society and its social, political, philosophical and religious issues.
In the exhibition, On Solid Water, we are confronted with several different figures: Mickey Mouse, “Rodanna”, a hybrid between Ronald McDonald and the Madonna from the Bible; there is a terrorist, and a drowned refugee. People inspired by the real world are placed together with figures from advertising or comic strips, with no logical connection. In John Moran’s artistic universe we are never on firm ground. Instead, we stumble haphazardly in an absurd world full of paradoxes, full of a disturbing and fundamental uncertainty, which can be uncomfortable at times.
Issues from the daily news, like the refugee crisis, increasing inequality, and poverty are mixed with historic and religious themes, pop culture, advertisements and Disney figures in a complete jumble, reflecting the overload of information in our time, with pictures and newsflashes completely out of context. This is reality, and we are faced with it every day, but we have difficulty relating to it and responding.
John Moran’s approach is shocking, satirical and ironic all at once, as he tries to wake viewers from lethargic apathy and make them face ethical questions. He does not claim to have the answers, but is more concerned with the collective processes that lead us to deny reality and accept things as they are. He shows us the absurdity of society, but there is no condemnation.
John Moran lives and works in Ghent, in Belgium, where he started Gent Glass in 2013.
The exhibition has been supported by:
The Flemish Goverment State of the Art