Glass is an amorphous substance in its primal form, only given a distinctive shape by the intentions and ability of the person, or people, manipulating it. Michael Mikula takes a material most recognized for curvaceous forms and turns it into angular, industrial sculpture.
His internal combustion engine aesthetic is a contemporary reflection of the Art Deco period, when the emergence of machinery and industry had an intense effect on the art of the time. Strong lines and geometrical patterns replaced the organic curves and ephemerality of nature-inspired Art Nouveau.
Abstract projections in Michael's cast glass pieces become intimations of some great machine, usually opaque to our gaze, now rendered transparent and translucent. His use of both colored and clear glass causes refractions of light that somehow draws more attention than if the object was one solid, matte surface. Each gear and sprocket of his invisible engines is thrown into a deep contrast.
Sometimes Michael builds metal frames for his cast glass, creating a larger sculpture that plays with a sort of mad scientist's regular irregularity. The shapes and textures of each part of the sculpture are never repeated, yet because of their sharp lines and geometric patterning visually rhyme.
Though looking mechanical, Michael's sculptures are actually canvases used to convey deeper narratives that often reflect his interpretations of nature and architecture. It is often the ambient environment which he seeks to communicate, refracted through the prism of sculptural glass.