PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas June 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 67

COURTESY OF FRIEDMAN BENDA AND CHRIS SCHANCK. PHOTOGRAPHY DAN KUKLA. ABOVE: COURTESY OF FRIEDMAN BENDA AND CHRIS SCHANCK. PHOTOGRAPHY MICHELLE AND CHRIS GERARD. JENNA BASCOM Puff, 2017 Chris Schanck's Banglatown, 2018, is part of his current retrospective at the Museum of Arts and Design, NY. Chris Schanck and often used to board up foreclosed or abandoned buildings, especially in the Banglatown neighborhood of immigrants where Schanck has lived and worked for a decade. Alley Vanity was inspired by the late-19th-century Martelé dressing table in the Dallas Museum of Art's collection and debuted at the DMA in "Curbed Vanity" in 2021, his first museum solo show. Made of found objects from his Detroit neighborhood, the dressing table is coated in resin and aluminum foil, a reference to the Dallas-area aluminum factory where Schanck's f a t h e r w o r k e d . C h r o n i c a l l y unemployed, his father moved the family a dozen times before landing work at the factory, Schanck says. He and his brother also worked there for a time. "Aluminum foil is more than just a material, in the sense that it represents our family's first taste of stability," he says. The retrospective also includes the artist's newest figurative creations, including Eye of the Little God, a bas-relief mirror inspired by Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror."Schanck came across the poem — a meditation on aging and the end of life — while researching the history of mirrors for the Alley Vanity piece. H is works might be unconventional, but Schanck can design and build furniture with the best of them — he has a Master's of Fine Arts in design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, which produced legends Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Florence Knoll. Prior, he trained at New York's School of Visual Arts, where he earned a BFA in sculpture — an opportunity he almost scuttled while still at Booker T, when a recruiter offered him a full scholarship that he initially turned down. "I was dealing with some hardcore addictions and depression, flirting with suicide," Schanck says. One day, he put a pistol to his head, not knowing if it was loaded or not. "What crossed my mind at that moment was: 'Well, you could end it all, or you could give it all to your work and see what happens," he says. He put the pistol down. "I dug up the recruiter's card — the deadline for college had already passed — and I pleaded with him to give me another chance." He did, along with a full ride to the college. Later at Cranbrook, Schanck thrived under the school's "thinking through making" focus on studio work and experimentation, where he was introduced to the institution's legacy of radical, avant-garde furniture design. Rigorous group critiques taught him to think critically about his own work, and the inherent boundaries that designing furniture presented were liberating. "It gave me freedom to dig as deep as I wanted within that A retrospective of Chris Schanck's works at MAD includes Mum, 2020, a chandelier he made in collaboration with his mother. 55

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity Dallas June 2022