Book review: Dale Chihuly: 365 Days
Chihuly: 365 Days by Dale Chihuly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dale Chihuly’s career as a master glass artist, now spanning four decades, is illustrated in this amazing book of 365 full color photographs featuring some of his most famous pieces. Included, also, is a running commentary of his views on creativity, productivity (he believes in eight-hour days with no lunch breaks) and the joy of being alive.
When Chihuly lost an eye in a serious auto accident and dislocated his shoulder soon after in a body surfing accident, he turned to a team approach to working with glass. He then was able to turn out immense works of art, some over fifty feet in length, constructed of blown and fabricated glass elements.
Color is primary to his creations. He says he never met a color he didn’t like, and his works explore a wide palette: bright green heron pieces in a river, a crystal chandelier of aquamarine and white, a boat filled with yellow, blue and red glass objects. Lighting of these glass art works is essential. Within a museum, the pieces seem to glow in a dark room. At a conservatory or a lake amidst plants, they peek out from the leaves adding explosions of yellow or red or magenta.
Chihuly explores other elements as well. In an exhibit at a Citadel in Jerusalem he exported 64 tons of ice blocks from Alaska to create an immense melting wall that both blended with the current architecture and symbolized a wall that no longer needed to exist.
Viewing the book is visceral pleasure and reading his philosophy is nourishment to the artistic soul.