Christine Cassano

Written by Demetrius Gunnar Burns Category: Arts Issue: January 2015
Group Mid-Level
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ARTIST OF THE MONTH: During Phoenix artist Christine Cassano’s senior year in 2001 at Old Dominion University in Virginia, her professor-mentor told her she had reached her apex as a painter. So, with a lot of cussing and finger injuries, she made the transition to producing three-dimensional art.

“It was the best decision ever. I felt like with the paintings that they were so over-saturated with imagery that I felt like I had nothing else to paint. That transition into using other vehicles of communication allowed me to open up doors that I didn’t think that I could,” Cassano says.

Cassano’s decision to go beyond the brush and canvas allowed her to expand her creative horizons and explore a major theme in her art: the interplay between biological and technological systems.

One of Cassano’s sculptures, “Systemic,” is currently on display at Tempe Center for the Arts. It consists of 150 pieces of various sizes (but none larger than a drink coaster) mounted into the wall, and resembles a spider web with raindrops on it. The pieces are steel tubing filled with concrete and inlaid with copper domes, with motherboard circuitry etched into the surface. “From a distance it looks like a morphogenic pattern, or a biological pattern, but when you get up close you realize all those materials are industrial,” Cassano says.

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Cassano views the biological and technological as synergetic. “I believe that the biological world impacts the technological and vice versa. Sometimes I view it as reconciliation and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the piece,” Cassano says.

This year Cassano’s been included in eight exhibits, including two solo and three invitational exhibitions. Her art is currently up at Tempe Center for the Arts in the juried TCA Biennial: Copper exhibition through Jan. 31, and at the City of Tempe’s window installation at the post office on Mill Avenue, through April 2.