I entered the next room in the contemporary art room at the Corning Museum of Glass and was drawn immediately to the pure forms. A figure represented in printed, offset glass plates; a large, slightly bulging cube of black glass. Then I found Nicole Chesney’s Present. A nacreous, abstract atmosphere painted and wiped across a glass canvas. And I started to think.

This is pretty. Why? Do others find it pretty? Would I have found it pretty ten years ago? Will I find it pretty in ten years? What am I supposed to see? Why does it matter? What do other people think about when they take the time to experience this piece? Is that what matters? Are we connected somehow? I don’t see a story or an object or a scene. Just a feeling. It feels delicate. It exhibits wabi-sabi. I want to protect this. It’s not Japanese, and yet it feels Zen all the same. I see a faint, clouded reflection of myself. I feel like I’m here, but I’m not. Approaching muga. I start to detach. I want others to see this and experience it.

And with these thoughts in mind, I made my own art.

Self Portrait: Relinquishing My Self

Silver-toned, textured surface with a dark figure reflected in the center