chas curtis | statement


My fascination with light developed while I was an undergraduate in electrical engineering.  I was amazed by it's beauty, by what we could explain and what was still inexplicable.  The subject of my senior thesis was the mathematical derivation of the way light is propagated through fiber optic cable.  
In graduate business school at Stanford I took an elective in the art department and became interested in the vibrational characteristics of found objects.  I made musical instruments out of vacuum cleaners and exhaust pipes to show how common objects resonate at unique frequencies, each alive with the unseen vibrations of matter.
After graduate school I became interested in the gravity, mass and eternal quality of natural stone.  I started with alabaster and moved into marble, loving the challenge of sculpting stone which could remain unchanged for millennia. 
After years of sculpting I moved into 3,000 pound stoneworks, requiring diamond-edged power tools.  However, the forms in my imagination grew more complex than stone would allow, so I moved into bronze.  I learned lost wax casting techniques at Shidoni Foundry in Santa Fe and soon began to enjoy the freedom of TIG and MIG welding and shaping my own metals.  Aluminum did not rust like steel and like stone, could last until the edge of eternity, yet was light enough to be moved by the wind.
My experience with such different materials began to come full circle as my interest in the mathematics of light propagation rekindled.  I began to take in an interest in optics again and was able to combine my expertise with electrical engineering, material balance and sculptural aesthetics to create something entirely new, yet reflective of my original fascination with light.