Central’s Art Gallery Begins The Semester With ‘Drip Drop Tick Tock’

Julia Conant, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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When most people think of art materials, they think of paint or clay. But what about fencing and cable ties? 

An opening reception was held for artist Joe Fucigna’s, “Drip Drop Tick Tock” exhibit last Thursday, Sept. 5. “Drip Drop Tick Tock” featured both 2D and 3D abstract pieces, all created by Fucigna.

“I have solely been an abstract artist,” Fucigna said. “When I was younger I was never really confident about my ability to draw things realistically. It didn’t interest me, because maybe I felt a little, you know, not as confident. I would make things up and so abstraction has always been my work.”

The sculpture pieces that were featured in the exhibit were mostly made from plastic and metal fencing. Fucigna explained how he first began using this material during the reception.

“I live out in the woods,” Fucigna started. “I had black deer net fencing and I was putting it around my plants. I was like, ‘This is a cool material’ and I had cable ties in my mind too. I started working with it, went to Home Depot to get some fencing, then thank goodness for the internet, I found some different types of netting there, tons of stuff. And I just started to play with the material.”

Fucigna described most of his 3D pieces as being”muscle-y” and “bloppy.” He cited artist Phillip Guston as an influence for this design. Fucigna started focusing on bloppy and drippy work after playing with some putty.

“My wife came home with hand therapy putty, which is silicon, which is also silly putty,” Fucigna said. “We all know silly putty. Who’s not fascinated by silly putty? When you buy some, the first thing you do is stick it on the wall, and it starts to drip and you kinda go, ‘Wow, thats cool.’”

Fucigna drew and painted 2D work inspired by the dripping putty, then moved onto sculptures.

Although Fucigna uses hard material, his pieces do not appear rigid. Rather, they look soft or fluid. Art critic Richard Klein commented on this idea.

“Fucigna’s forms are so strong and unexpected that the original identity of the materials is easily forgotten,” Klein stated. 

Despite Klein saying the identity of the piece is forgotten, Fucigna explained that he doesn’t hide any part of the sculpture material. For example, he never paints the fencing he uses in his sculptures. If the fencing is colored, it’s because he bought it that way.

“The honesty of the material is very important to me,” Fucigna said. “I like to show everything. For example, the cable ties. You can see how they are all attached. Nothing is hidden.”

 Fucigna said that most of his work is based on “aha” moments,  where he has a creative realization about something.

“You get these ‘aha’ moments every once in a while. And when you get that ‘aha’ moment, enjoy it okay? Because it does not come that often. But to understand that ‘aha’ moment you got to learn how to trust your instincts. To learn how to trust your instincts, you got to work at your craft a lot, to trust it when it comes,” Fucigna said. 

Fucigna’s work will be on display from now until Oct. 3 in the Central Art Gallery, located on the second floor of Maloney Hall. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.