James Ciosek: Moth To The Flame  

On View: June 9th, through August 26th, 2017
Zoya Tommy Gallery, 4102 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77004 


The exhibition, “Moth To The Flame” by Houston-based sculptor and metal worker James Ciosek aims to explore the nature of reality and perception. To question our role as generators and arbiters of what may be an entirely holographic existence. Ciosek’s sculptures pose as an inkblot test for the viewer, exploiting the tendency of the eye to find figurative elements where none were intended. Re-enforcing the idea that we regularly see things that are simply not there.

Moth to the Flame”, at Zoya Tommy Gallery, will present two and three dimensional pieces that explore new surface treatments- such as high voltage wood burning and ink blown around with compressed air. These techniques produce novel patterns that are sympathetic with the rest of the artist’s body of work and have encouraged him to consider a more painterly approach. James Ciosek will unveil new works from his current series “Opalescent Order” as well as large scale lighted sculptures from his suite titled “Constructed Chaos.”

Ciosek states: “The title, Moth To The Flame, refers to the wide appeal of lighted sculptures that I have encountered over the years. Even viewers not typically into art can find my pieces compelling. There is something instinctively attractive about light.”

The artist’s “Opalescent Order” series, shares a dotted, misty affinity with Impressionism. The work has a similar interest in optics, and in recording a specific moment in time. In imitation of nature, the artist captures the action and beauty of universal chaos on colored translucent films and then molds the outcome into internally lighted works of art that are mystical, psychedelic, and atmospheric. Ciosek would describe his artisan-executed, Abstract-Expressionist forms as geometric, architectural, and marine.

The remaining sculptures from the artist’s “Constructed Chaos” suite, consist of large scale corrugated tin and fiberglass obelisks. Surface texturing and penetration with guns and other “randomness generators” play against the ordered lines of the corrugations. Colored fluorescent lights within the pieces create mystical overtones. Thematically, Ciosek explores the concept of destruction and regeneration in this series.

Taught to weld by his grandfather at age eleven, James Ciosek, continues a family legacy and has been a professional metal smith since 1993. As an apprentice, he honed his technical skills in the ornamental iron and high end glass bending sectors. Fresh out of N.Y.U. with a B.S in Mass Media, sculptor James Ciosek cut his teeth as a metal working artisan for Flickinger Glassworks, Pier 41, Brooklyn in 1994. He then spent over a decade in the Midwest studying blacksmithing earning a blacksmithing certificate from the Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America.

Focusing his energies on sculpture beginning in 2006, Ciosek moved to Houston, and is making a mark as a mixed media sculptor. James Ciosek has been collected and exhibited throughout the U.S. Some of his productions include a large scale solo installation, “Human Hamster Wheel,” at Lawndale Art Center, and “Opalescent Order” at Zoya Tommy Gallery, all in Houston, Texas. “Moth To The Flame” will be Ciosek’s second solo exhibition at Zoya Tommy Gallery. Arriving geographically full circle with New York City, Ciosek was granted a two month Visiting Artist Fellowship at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, exploring the application of neon, slump glass, and enameling in the execution of his internally illuminated sculptures.

James Ciosek: Moth To The Flame will open to the public on Friday, June 9, 2017 from 6-8 pm. The exhibition will be on view at Zoya Tommy Gallery through August 26, 2017.

Zoya Tommy Gallery is committed to exhibiting artwork that reflects the fascinating culture of today’s society as well as offering competing ideas about contemporary art using a variety of themes.