photographer: Stuart McConaghy and
Cal Lane personal archive //
by Whitney Mercurio //
Sometimes things strike a visceral chord in me. It’s my own personal litmus test of whether or not I really like something. I feel it with people, art, things I read, objects, conversations, music, scents, nature, concepts, moments in time, you name it. If I’m lucky it’s a combination of a few of these things at once.
I met Cal Lane when she invited me to her studio / home in Putnam Valley, New York last May. I was so excited to meet this woman and artist as I had fallen in love with her work. “Found” industrial objects made of steel that were once utilitarian... shovels, car doors, oil drums and I-beams... she transforms into visually delicate filigree and lace with an industrial-grade plasma cutter. This is a complete and beautiful paradox. In a world where it is generaly expected of women to be delicate and to work with and create equally as delicate objects, it makes me happy to see Cal working against these gender stereotypes using high powered electrical arcs and inert gas to create plasma which bites through steel like a hot knife through butter and in complete contrast to the process, creating these seemingly delicate but strong pieces of art.
Cal Lane is as brilliant and welcoming as she is talented. It was a pleasure.
Extremes, though contrary,
have the like effects. Extreme heat kills,
and so extreme cold: extreme love
breeds satiety, and so extreme hatred;
and too violent rigor tempts chastity,
as does too much license.