Art Bespoke

Artist Jorge Pardo on What To Look For in a Lamp

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAD.

For Jorge Pardo, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. “I come from a place where communism failed, so I don't trust ideology,” says the 60-year-old Cuban-American artist. “We were always wary of people with great ideas.” Born to a factory worker and a bookkeeper who immigrated to Chicago when he was a child, Pardo has developed a practice that spans architecture, furniture, lighting, and landscape design—all with an emphasis on assembly and craft that upends distinctions between function and fine art. Pardo, who was recently named Savannah College of Art and Design’s 2023 deFINE ART honoree, is currently exhibiting “JP@SCAD,” an installation of new work featuring hand-blown glass pendant lamps and large-scale textiles in the institution’s Pamela Elaine Poetter Gallery. For the artist, the illuminated works present the quintessential interplay of the functional and ephemeral, a tension that lies at the heart of his work. To mark the occasion, Pardo spoke with SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace about his work and inspirations. 

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