Nicholas Missel, born 1989, St.louis, MO, primarily works in sculpture exploring the intersection of industry, labor, and technology. Missel received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute '12 MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design '16, and continued his studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture '16. His work has been included in several group shows, (upcoming)Absence Project at Planta Baja(NY), OBO at Microscope Gallery (NY), New Contemporaries at Gelman gallery (RI) and A Sponge and a Sigh at The Wurks(RI). Missel is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar and is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY.
My work is a meaning machine that creates and distorts our understanding of our surroundings. I remember the feeling when I used to skate, using momentum to be able to jump and float along a rail where gravity was suspended for a moment, followed by the impact of the ground after a good landing. This feels like a very sculptural way of understanding of our world for me, going between our momentarily suspended and grounded realities, while seeing potential in mundane spaces and objects. A material or an object from the world has one use, goes into an indeterminate limbo, and lands in my mind as a sculptural opportunity.
The sculptural work itself becomes a malleable space that is always at odds with the natural forces of gravity and its environment: my work flattens, reflects, glitches, and folds space and experience. Material solidity seems to deconstruct in real time, and cultural meaning is simultaneously constructed and dismantled. In the archive of the studio, old projects fuse into new works, ideas and opinions change while working, and the work takes on its own life that is outside of my control. I avoid narrowing the work into specific meanings and time frames; I prefer layered ways of thinking and working, and I am curious how this can happen both materially and conceptually within the work.
My work proceeds as a multi-dimensional, archeological excavation of the future, fiction, memory, urban experience, and anything that occurs in the studio. The works become relics from a lost future that share our space but are not from it. I try to make my sculpture have an after-effect like nails on a chalkboard: an agitation in your mouth fully encapsulates you, and changes your relationship to the space left after it dies away.