Welcome to my world.
Hola! In case we haven’t met, I’m Blake Sherlock.
Born and bred in Idaho, I was a senior at Brown University in 1990 when I started making art pieces that were mosaic-like. Having taken full advantage of cross-registration at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) I was uniquely prepared for my senior thesis. The thesis explored the artistic traditions of the world’s indigenous peoples through small-scale object making. At the time I had a part-time job at Pier 1 Imports where I started collecting the store’s breakage – an excellent source of materials for the projects I envisioned. I began making mirrors, paperweights, tabletops and more. Gradually I learned the incredible art and craft of mosaics.
Mosaic is a very special medium, unique and important for the times in which we live. Conceptually, it’s a process of putting together pieces to create a whole. It’s an additive, integrative process. Combining sculpture, architecture, painting, literature and poetry, I find mosaic art the perfect and most fertile territory for my creative expression.
After college, I moved to Arizona, started post-graduate work in art education and continued developing my craft. I soon outgrew my environment and moved to San Francisco. It was there that, contrary to everything I’d heard about starving artists, I found success. I wasn’t in famous “fine art” galleries. I wasn’t written about or part of the local art conversation. But, I was in people’s homes. I was on their walls, floors, and countertops, and in their windows, gardens and bathrooms. My art was on light-switch plates, fantasy furniture and light fixtures. I launched my first business venture, Various Designs, and began showing and selling my art at exhibitions in San Francisco and New York as well as other major cities. I filled orders for customers across the USA and in places as far flung as Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
Eventually, I found that running a business with 11 employees was stifling my creativity. So, I made my way to New York City to start my own gallery. With the help of many friends and a great article in the New York Times, my work expanded under the influence of some of the greats of the art world – among them Haring, Warhol, Rauschenberg and Cornell.
But, 911 happened just blocks from the studio I shared with other artist-egos. This horrific tragedy was the catalyst I needed to explore more of the world. I embarked on a cross-country “Pilgrimage to the Sea,” following my heart and the spirit of water. These travels ultimately led me to my current home on Guatemala’s volcano-ringed Lake Atitlan in a Maya Tzutujil village. Here, I’ve found the space to live and create and grow as an artist. I feel I have something to offer here, by sharing my medium and art with local artists working to preserve their own rich, ancient culture.
Most of my works are commissioned by individuals, small organizations, businesses and philanthropists. I take great pleasure in getting to know so many incredible people on this planet through working on projects in their homes as well as in community-based organizations. I have found that the challenge of the client’s project becomes a platform for artistic exploration that I never would have found on my own.
So, it is with great pleasure that I invite you to explore the projects I’ve worked on over time. Come back often to check out what’s new, buy yourself some art or have me custom-make a piece just for you. Through my blog you will learn about the community-based development projects I’m working on in Guatemala and how you can support these endeavors. Thanks for visiting.
"Singing Vessel", above, and left (detail)