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Jonathan Shapiro

Sculpture

Nurture the Core

NEW WORK

Rising 10 feet from its White Ash base, Nurture the Core brings together several materials, layers and textures. A curving Black Walnut form stretches from a concrete and fiberglass bottom; emerging from the center of the walnut is a black glass element. The top of the sculpture features a spalted oak form. Visibly sheltered within the oak rests a seed-shaped piece of poplar.

Nurture the Core is a site-specific piece commissioned for a home whose design was strongly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. The sculpture invokes the natural beauty of the home’s outside surroundings, uplifting the viewer and introducing a warm, organic feeling to the space.

The work invites self-reflection. Black glass nested within the walnut suggests heat and seems to give off an internal energy. The different materials and shapes coming together inspire feelings of support and hint at the promise of future discovery.

Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro Nurture the Core by Jonathan Shapiro

Expressive Forms

Expressive Forms is a series of small-scale sculptures that reveal personality and individualism in the context of a society where we often struggle to find that which makes us unique.

I incorporate wood and other materials with concrete forms cast in found objects such as bowls, buckets, and tea-light holders.

This work explores how the integration of disparate materials and forms can transcend the component parts to convey outsized personality and emotion in compact sculpture.

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given to nurture

VIDEO

Given to Nurture, standing 15' tall, was designed specifically for the lobby of the new Fairmont Hotel, Pittsburgh PA, which opened March 29th 2010. It is an organic landmark inside this signature property. The primary material for the piece is a large sycamore very common on our Pittsburgh streets. The city tree was being removed at the right time and it has now been re purposed.

It is a piece that both stimulates and provides comfort to the viewer. It's a natural beacon that draws people in to interact with it. Its curves reflect the gentle bends of the three rivers that have been lifeblood to Pittsburgh and will continue to be vital to the city's future. The sculpture also represents the natural resources wood, steel, and human that nurtured Pittsburgh's initial growth as a center of heavy industry; taken care of properly, these resources will once again help Pittsburgh flourish as the city continues to reinvent itself.

I have textured the sculpture with gouge marks, like brush strokes in a painting. These marks seem to capture the passage of time. Given to Nurture emits both a warm echo of home to travelers and a familiar comfort to Pittsburghers. This warmth is felt in the space, as well as throughout the city.

personalities

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the forest inside

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bits of disappointment

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26"x12"x6" materials: wood, rice paper, beeswax and broken drill bits.

sheltering heart

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spirit sense

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window pain

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village optique

Jonathan was selected by the owners of Village Optique, in Raleigh NC, to design, build and install the interior of their upscale eye-wear boutique. The eco-conscious owners were drawn to his use of natural and recycled materials. The results create
a unique experience for their high end clientele.

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furniture

Wood and Steel Table Concrete and Steel Table Wood Table Steel and Wood Storage Containers Steel and Wood Containers

lighting

steel wood and glass sconce woven plant vine chandelier

refrigerator sculpture

magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures magnetic refrigerator sculptures

This work is part of my ongoing attempt to express emotion and personality through small accessible gestures.

artist statement

Through my art, I attempt to gain a better understanding of myself and the world we live in. In a society where I believe so much to be processed, I am constantly searching for things that are real. My sculptures are visual, tactile tools that serve almost as guideposts, enabling me to discover and keep in touch with how I am feeling and reacting to my dynamic environment.

My sculpture is continually evolving, building off my previous attempts to express and explore emotions. In this way, previous sculptures inform current work, which then influences future exploration. Two of the recurring themes that I’ve found in my artwork include the relationship between mind and body, and dealing with interpersonal communications.

Although I approach my work with a general direction – exploring the feelings and reactions that are
most urgent at the time – the direction changes as I interact with the medium, in a process of discovery. The materials I use are part of my search for substance. These materials, which include wood, stone, and steel, feel real to me. I often work with found objects, like wood from a river or fallen tree.

about

University of Pittsburgh

1995

BA Communications Rhetoric / Studio Arts

Society for Contemporary Craft

July 2002

Japanese Woodworking with Tadao Arimoto

Touchstone Center for Craft

August 2005 & August 2007

Woodcarving with Thaddeus Mosley

*Handcrafted furniture and sculpture
in multiple private collections

Reviews

Pittsburgh Magazine

August 2000

Pulp

April 2003

Jonathan Shapiro is a self-taught sculptor who incorporates natural materials along with found objects into his work. Growing up in New York, Jonathan was drawn to taking things apart and putting them back together in ways that were more useful, more meaningful, or just more interesting to him. He feels that his art has taken this inclination of his to new levels of expression. Jonathan currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

selected exhibits

Expressive Forms

June 2013

Mendelson Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Forest Inside - Wood Sculpture

Nov 14, 2008 - Jan 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Specimens -Wood and Steel Sculpture

Nov 14, 2008 - Jan 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Inside Out -Wood Sculpture

April 2006

Mendelson Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

CCFA (Crohns & Colitis Foundation),
Wine & Chocolate Fundraiser Show

February 2006

Stone & Wood Sculpture - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Garden Inside, Small Wood Sculpture

January 2006

Pittsburgh Filmmakers - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Organic Matter, Steel & Wood Sculpture

March 2003

Garfield Artworks - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On Common Ground, Steel & Wood Sculpture / Furniture

August 1999

Garfield Artworks - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aliquippa Embraces Art

July 1996

G.C. Murphy Building - Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

The Chair Show, Steel & Wood Furniture

September 1994

Islip Museum of Art - Islip, New York

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