Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed July 2, 1996
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Duct tape artist Jerry Mischak creates works that stick with you

Jerry Mischak, visual arts instructor at Brown University, is a sculptor whose primary medium is duct tape.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Jerry Mischak is a Brown University visual arts instructor and artist whose primary medium is duct tape. His interest in duct tape began in 1990, when he began wrapping stacks of mail-order catalogs. He created sculptures out of those stacks, carving shapes into the pieces to expose the paper innards. He has also made taped art using wooden boxes, pieces of furniture and bits of foam rubber. His sticky color palette includes red, yellow, teal, blue, brown and white - whatever is on sale at the local discount store.

An uncovering-by-covering, exposing-by-hiding interplay infuses each work. There's the birdlike sculpture made of nothing but tape and three table legs. There are towerlike pieces of reds, yellows and blues that resemble dinosaur or giraffe necks or, from a different perspective, stalagmites rising from the floor of a technicolor cave.

In a recent show in New York, which took place in a vacant office building, Mischak piled a file cabinet and upside-down swivel chair on top of an office desk and wrapped it - with the help of friends and 150 rolls of various colors of duct tape - during the course of three days. The unusual sculpture was photographed and featured in the next day's New York Times (June 7, 1996, p. C26).

This fall, Mischak will have a one-person show at the Hartell Gallery at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. (Sept. 1 - 14), and at the Dru Artstark Gallery in New York (Sept. 12 - Oct. 19). In February he will be part of a group show appropriately titled "Obsession," at the Islip Art Museum in Islip, N.Y.