Jay Rogers has been making boxes and sculptural containers for over 30 years. His current work is about the psychological realm of architecture, inspired by the work of artists such as Giovanni-Battista Piranesi and M.C.Escher. The sculptures are containers, with hidden drawers and secret compartments and range in theme, size and material. Visit Jay's website to see video demonstrations of the box openings. Fantasy Architecture: Sculptural Boxes by Jay Rogers will be on display from October 26 through January 6, 2018.
Below is a short summary written by Curator Luiza deCamargo about her visit to Jay's studio:
In early April, Jay Rogers welcomed me into his cozy home and studio in Cambridge. The house, which Jay shares with his long-time partner, is covered floor to ceiling with beautiful art and art objects. The two of them very much live the motto "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
In exploring Jay's boxes, which cover quite a few surfaces in his parlor (including a grand piano), I was able to get to know the artist and his work. Thoughtful, patient, careful. Jay's boxes are meticulously made in wood with fine skill known to clockmakers and few others. Each one is an invitation to be curious and to explore the tiny universe presented to us. As I pulled away stairwells, lifted loggia, and opened reliquaries, I imagined myself as a tiny inhabitant of a magical palace. Jay painstakingly creates a world within his wooden boxes, and invites us inside.
Jay came into the Society's family in 1996 when he won our prestigious Artist Awards. In a thoughtful and gracious email, he shared what winning that prize meant:
"I felt honored and seen and acknowledged. It was in fact a tremendous pat on the back. Yes, it did also relieve me of the burden of worrying about affording my health insurance for most of the next year, which was great, but more than that it was saying "Someone out there is paying attention, someone with a long track record of paying attention to makers, and they think you're worth paying attention to." The fact that it came from the Society was a big deal to me."
We're hosting an opening reception for Fantasy Architectures: Sculptural Boxes on Thursday evening of October 26. Jay will walk us through his fantastical pieces and show us how each one opens up to reveal hidden secrets. This will be a great opportunity to get to see deep into the dimensions of the boxes, and I invite you to join us for this incredible show-and-tell.