John Bisbee | American Steel

American Steel, 2018, exhibition made from nails
American Steel, basket detail
American Steel, stool detail

Center for Maine Contemporary Art
June 30 – October 14

For my upcoming show, American Steel, at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, I find myself for the first time being dragged simultaneously across four forbidden borders, giggling as I go. They are humor, text, realism, and, oh my god, politics. These are places I’ve never allowed my work to venture, because I was so sealed in my own abstract juices that the world was never able to penetrate. Well, that bubble’s been burst. I did not see any of this coming, but I couldn’t escape the gravity of this national moment. It has made me dwell intensely on our past, while clinging even tighter to a shiny future. The only hope is empathy and love, and above all, we need to strengthen and maintain our unwavering faith in the Almighty Bright Common Spike.