Artist Robert Bender creates glass sculptures by combining cast found objects and the human figure. Bender utilizes objects from everyday life, but alters the context in which they are seen, inviting the viewer to connect with these objects and ideas in a new light.
"Somebody once said that being an artist is like running a relay race and passing the baton to yourself. Many of my early years as an artist were spent doing editorial and children's book illustration. The challenge was to take an article or story and represent it in a way that was both metaphoric and eloquent. That is the approach that I now use with glass casting. By incorporating casted found objects into figurative work, I am adding another level of humor and meaning. I also have a long history in ceramics. Although I no longer create functional ceramics, vessel forms and other ceramic elements have great importance in my work. The ambiguity of a vessel's fullness versus emptiness interests me. Often I am drawn to certain iconography, and later realize how it resonates with my past. I was recently excited about incorporating egg carton forms. In reflecting back, I was yearning to represent years of fertility treatments my wife and I went through. Fertility of the body, as well as of the mind became a theme in my work. Like a dream, these images have many interpretations and the work is telling more than one story." - Robert Bender