Juan Alejandro Fried Ortiz de Zarate

Fluorite Gabion

Medium/Materials: Galvanized steel, steel wire, fluorite rough

Dimensions: 1 x 3 x 3 inches

Year: 2016

Artist Statement: 

In my work, I study the reconciliation of natural and man-made forms and structures. This brooch is two gabions, small versions of those that hold up our hillsides and stream beds and buildings, at times filled with recycled debris - of demolished buildings being replaced, or historic pavers, or obsolete highways - making something utilitarian also sustainable, symbolic, poetic. And, unlike solid, hewn stones, gabions are porous and allow water to flow through. Here, rough fluorite (from Latin fluo, meaning a stream or flow of water), a primarily industrial mineral, is contained in cages of old hardware cloth and rusted binding wire that I found in an abandoned factory. The fluorite rocks’ unique optical qualities make them glow inside the gabions, a snapshot of this flowing water - contained - and nurtured.

Artist Biography:

Juan Alejandro Fried Ortiz de Zarate studied art history and architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota and, as an architect, urban designer and artist, explores large and small scale interrelationships of form, space, function, and materials.