The snake currently in the rotation on ICA’s home page was made by Adam Blumberg out of the foil wrapper of a bottle of sparkling juice. Adam has worked as a part-time preparator for ten years, the past two at ICA.
Like most ICA crew members, Adam is an artist. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bard’s International Center of Photography, he works in photography, video, installation, sculpture, and sometimes he does a little bit of performance too. Right now he’s getting ready for a solo show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Philadelphia next September. Adam grew up in St. Louis, and he’s interested in identities issues around Midwesterners, especially Midwestern men. His work tends to involve cars, beer drinking, sometimes Nascar. At the moment, for instance, he’s taking the fender badge from a ’57 Corvette and casting it in bronze to make a 10” x 15” plaque. The ’57 Corvette is notable, apparently, for having been the first car to have fuel injection.
“So, how’s that project going?” I ask.
“Expensive,” he says, and laughs.
He’s also working on a triangular shelf on which will stand a bottle of Moet champagne, a bottle of Patron tequila, and a box of condoms.
Adam made the snake in the photograph as a kind of 3-D doodle when he heard we were looking for images of snakes for this blog. He was doing installation for ICA’s Queer Voice exhibition, and on the last day the curator brought cookies and sparkling juice for the crew. The purple foil from around the juice bottle felt scaly, so he thought he’d take some home to do something two-dimensional and snake-like with it. In the meantime he twirled a bit into a little sculpture, using the plastic pull tab from the bottle as the tongue.
Having lived in Wisconsin for seven years and studied herpetology there (briefly), I think snakes are good subjects for Midwesterners, but I forgot to ask Adam about this. Having made this little foil piece, maybe snakes will seep into his work almost against his will, and when I go see his show next fall I’ll see some blue racers or bullsnakes there among the Corvette badges and liquor bottles. I think that would be nice.
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Adam Blumberg has exhibited in England, Germany, and Japan in addition to the United States. Last summer he had work in Vox V at Vox Populi Gallery, and The South Philadelphia Boat Show at Storage. When he’s not in his studio, you can find him here at ICA figuring out how to pack onion rings into archival foam.