The materials he works with range from industrial resins and silicones to household items like sugar and ice. Bakay’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Austin, Indianapolis, Houston and Galveston. His work has been covered by High Snobiety, Business Insider and Design Taxi. In 2017, he was commissioned by Nike for a VaporMax sculpture for Air Max Day.
Interview with artist Chris Bakay
FG: If you should tell someone the story of your life, from where would you start?
Chris Bakay: It’s a long story so I would keep the written part simple and let the work speak for itself. Essentially, I’ve always made cool things. From growing up in a small town to working in larger cities to where I’ve settled today, I’m still making cool things.
FG: Why, among all the materials, did you choose to focus mainly on epoxy resin.
I was somewhat familiar with resin from working on car audio with my brother when I was younger. So not only was there some comfort with it but there was also the contextual aspect that resonated with me. What I like about it are its transformative properties. I see it almost as a new type of clay. One where I can freeze an object or recreate an identical one entirely. Also, the difficulty of mastering it appeals to me. It’s taken a lot of learning through failures for me to get to where I am with it today.
FG: How would you describe your art today?
I would describe it as beautiful objects that are relatable on many levels. Whether it’s strictly a surface level attraction, empathizing with the story behind it or bringing their meaning to it, I want the viewer to be included and invited in rather than having a head-scratching experience.
FG: What is, in you opinion, the purpose of art nowadays?
I believe it has many purposes. Often it depends on the viewer’s intent. For example, there are times when I look at art to change my emotional state, challenge my belief system or show me a new way to solve a problem. Although, with the advent of technology, it’s harder for the artist to control the intent. A sculptor that made a work in the 1930’s was able to show it in a museum where they had much more control of how viewers interacted with it. Today, even serious works of art can become funny memes. That’s a big difference.
FG: Do you have a favourite quote or motto you often think about?
Henri Matisse said, “Never ruin a good painting with the truth.” It’s applicable to my practice because I’m not trying to copy objects but recreate them on a higher level.
FG: Do you have a dream yet to come true? If so, which one?
Most of the dreams I have are of projects I’ve yet to complete. I engineer and visualize them in my daydreams. The one I’m most excited about at the moment is the wearables. I’ve been toying with the idea for years and am now making them a reality.
FG: What are your future projects? What are you working on at the moment?
For the upcoming year, I’m shifting the focus of my sculptures away from shirts and towards shoes and smaller objects. At the moment, I’m in the test phase with wearables. They’re completely different than anything I’ve worked on before.
Courtesy pics: Chris Bakay
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