Michael Sanzone

United States of America

Based in New York, Michael Sanzone is an established painter and sculptor. He also has a background in film and illustration and has written and directed a number of short films, including the award-winning, Post Haste. Michael has a growing interest in wood and, during his residency, he plans to explore the theme of the passage of time, and the natural occurrences that time has on materials and how this cannot be duplicated through artifice.

”My time spent on the grounds of the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland were among my most productive as a working artist. Only twice before have I experienced such a fountain of creative output. Once, at home in New York City, for reasons that are not so evident to me, and once in Japan, were like in Scotland I was in an entirely new and inspired environment.

”Being given this generous time here, which is first necessary to create, combined with this new place, has led to an intimate progression with my work. Previous to being invited to Scotland I had been working with wood and was beginning to feel the possibility of creating a body of work based on a single, unified source, but I didn’t know what that source could be. Even knowing that I was coming to work with wood at a residency on a whisky distillery, I was still uncertain that a single source could provide enough variation and excitement to be the material for an entire piece of art, never mind the entire body of work.

”Once in Scotland and presented with whisky barrels I knew the potential not only existed, but this wood and history now seemed to present too great a possibility. I felt an overwhelming sense of not knowing how to use enough of this material. All I could do was get to work immediately. And I have worked steadily, with never ending enthusiasm for three months. All of my previous Wood Constructions prior to coming to Scotland have dealt with aged wood, color and shapes, with little connection to where the wood has come from. Now, in Scotland, at this distillery, a specific history, location, environment and culture all exist within these works. The environment has in part shaped or dictated the outcome of these new pieces.

”This series of work constructed from whisky barrels is far more comprehensive and unified than I could have imagined it might be, with an added intimacy of completing these works on the same grounds where the wood originated from, and being able to share this with those who worked with the barrels originally. Here, now exists a direct connection, and what has been shared with me at Glenfiddich has opened up new worlds of understanding and appreciation for wood and time.“ Michael Sanzone, September 08

"I’m fascinated by the process and craft of whisky making. My work is also about process. I find it important in my new work to collect materials/wood from specific locations, to get to know those locations and the history of the wood that now lies in the finished piece of artwork. I will be creating a body of work from the barrels or metal from the distillery, or from the surrounding environment.“ Michael Sanzone, June 08

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