Collection: Revenge | Protection | Redemption Exhibition

Bitfactory Gallery presents Revenge, Protection, Redemption, August 19 – October 13, 2022. In his first major exhibition in three years, Denver artist Ira Sherman completes his 20-year exploration tracing imaginary yet plausible sculptural responses to bodily assault and desire. Sherman’s kinetic, life-sized, wearable sculptures create a kind of mechanical device by which the wearer can hold the power of relinquishing permission, accepting desire, exacting revenge, and, ultimately, offering forgiveness.

“Mechanics are the aesthetic; the aesthetic is mechanics,” Sherman says of his unusual journey and the process he’s developed to turn human responses to heightened states of being into finely tooled functioning answers. Sherman’s adept skills in ironwork, metalwork, pneumatics, and the intricacies of crafting fine jewelry combine beautifully—and, at times, eerily—with his working knowledge of human anatomy and a deep understanding and empathy for raw emotion and the need to feel safe, protected, and at the same time, connected. To that end, all parts of his sculptures are functional and work in tandem with human motion and emotion.

From planning through forging elements to assembly, each sculpture takes approximately six months to complete. “One of the challenges is that the human body is curvilinear and most of the forged elements you see in my work are hammered out,” explains Sherman, who insists each sculpture be truly wearable and workable. To this end, he has created his own tools and molds, and forms each work on a mannequin throughout assembly. 

Ira Sherman’s sculptures are held in numerous private and public collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Wash, D.C., the National Ornamental Museum, Memphis, TN, the Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO, and Temple Sinai, CO. Sherman has appeared on PBS, the Discovery Channel, as well as podcasts, radio, and TV, and has been featured in publications that include the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronical, The Atlantic, and Popular Mechanics. He has lectured and taught metalworking across the US, the United Kingdom, and Israel.

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  • Revenge | Protection | Redemption Exhibition Catalogue
    Revenge | Protection | Redemption Exhibition Catalogue
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