If you’ve only heard one thing about Reno, NV, you probably heard that it is the arm-pit of the CA-NV area (some people refer to it as the crotch, but I’m more inclined to believe that designation belongs to the High Desert/Las Vegas area). Reno is grimy and musty. It is the place Nick van Woert called home before moving on to greyer pastures in New York.
When looking at van Woert’s sculptures, one can see the Renonian (yes, that is a made up word) influence. His art speaks of a certain vileness, though not without reason. Much of van Woert’s art is constructed of found materials (i.e. garbage). He takes the previously grandiose busts and reclaims them using grimy plastic resins and other garbage. In doing so, perhaps he is reclaiming the past, interrupting our want to revere historical figures. Or, perhaps these are comments upon the plasticity of icons; that is, how we change them to fit our needs (think: Columbus, Christopher). Perhaps, van Woert is something of an iconoclast.
In any case, I think Reno, NV has a new star on its hands. Watch out Dawn Wells, Nick van Woert is the new skipper in town.
If you can’t make it to Reno, at least go to: http://work.fourteensquarefeet.com.