Considered one of the most intriguing installations at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Swiss artist Urs Fischer has created magnificent stainless steel boxes polished to a mirrored surface with images of a sponge and a chair (respectively) silkscreen printed onto the various sides of the boxes. Obscurely named Pineapple/Melon, the four pieces (two printed with chairs, two printed with sponges) are giant interactive still lifes that provide multiple views of the objects: top, front and sides. Fischer enjoys changing the perception of things by presenting them in a different way, thus changing the human relationship to them. The feature that stands out most in these boxes is that the viewer is able to be present in the piece through the reflection of the polished surface.
Urs Fischer was born in Switzerland and began his artistic career there. He studied photography in Zurich and found his inspiration in the neo-Dada movement. In the mid-late 2000s, Fischer became increasingly popular in the US, particularly, New York where he currently resides.
His works are incredibly popular in the contemporary art scene and he has shown pieces at the:
- Venice Biennale;
- New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York); and
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles).
At first glance, one would think the cubes are made out of a common glass mirror. Yet, what makes Fischer’s pieces so eye-catching and different is the fact that they are made out of polished stainless steel. While these pieces are beautiful to behold, their medium does present a challenge in upkeep and cleaning; stainless steel as polished as this is hard to maintain and clean. Fingerprints remain on the piece for a long time and the cleaning process is complex. While the boxes look just like mirrors, it is important to remember they are not, and must be treated differently.
While physically touching the pieces is discouraged, another exciting feature of the Urs Fischer boxes is the interactive portion. It is even possible to create the illusion that one is sitting in the chair on the mirrored box. If you would like to try this optical illusion, it is sort of a trial by error process. The key is to sit on the ground at a certain distance from the cube while someone takes your picture from an angle. The distances and angles will have to be worked out while present at the museum, but some of our Instagrammers have posted fun snapshots of themselves sitting or standing on the chair!
Fischer’s pieces are located in the museum’s East Gallery among various portraits. While the still lifes seem to have little to do with portraiture, the mirrored portion provides a connection to the theme of the gallery. Because one can see his or her own reflection in the boxes, the piece becomes a portrait of that person, and our gallery becomes a portrait gallery with revolving portraits with our lovely guests as the subjects- just another special interactive portion of these stunning pieces.