Alexander Rosenberg is an artist and educator in the Crafts department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design's Glass program and has been fascinated with the material ever since. After a period of freelance fabrication and assisting several established artists with studio work and research, Alexander went on to MIT to study in a two-year MS program in visual studies. There, he continued his investigation of glass as a material, in conjunction with an interdisciplinary artistic practice that crossed over into many other media. Since earning his master's degree, Alexander has continued his artistic practice with various artist residencies, public performances and exhibitions. He now lives and works in Philadelphia.
My work explores identity through experiments in longing and failure. I am prone to dreaming of time travel, an impossible endeavor, but one that can be distantly approached through historical research. If the past is a living organism, a body that is constantly changing as a result of its study, then maybe I can give form to these dreams by interacting with this organism. What is the difference between participating in history and changing it from a distance? Can I interact with the past by changing myself today?
This exploration of identity comes in part from a practice based in glass working. The material both demands the artist to take on multiple identities (craftsman, artist, teacher) and has properties allowing it to assume different identities itself (varied transparency and opacity, the ability to reproduce textures and surfaces of other materials).
My approach could easily be described as a kind of controlled schizophrenia. The frantic array of personalities embodied in a single person seems to get to the essence of interdisciplinary artistic practice. Making artworks no longer means simply being an artist. One must be at once a counterfeiter, dealer, jazz musician, engineer, scientist, craftsman, arranger, performer, philosopher and historian; whatever means necessary to best confront the project. In pursuit of so many varied disciplines, one can rarely be an expert. I have embraced the role of amateur - usually a pejorative term that connotes sub-par quality or lack of virtuosity - for its meaning: one who does his work for the love of it.
- "com-pla-cent," The Green Building Gallery, Louisville, Ky., June - July 2010
- "Performance Glass Film Festival," Glassworks, Louisville, Ky., June 2010
- "Round 2," Canal St. Gallery, Rochester, N.Y., May, 2010
- "Cirque De Verre," Toledo Museum of Glass, October, 2009
- Artist in Residence at Rochester Institute of Technology, 2009-2010
- "How Is This Glass?", Corning, N.Y., June 2009
- "...And Things of That Nature," Mills Gallery, Boston, Mass., May 2009
- "sometimes it just doesn't work out: an informal study in failure," Studio Soto, Boston, Mass., October 2008
- "Drawing, Performance, Video" MIT Cambridge, Mass., May 2008