Gary Sczerbaniewicz (’16) Constructs “Unknown Knowns”

Artist Gary Sczerbaniewicz blends elements of 3-dimensional design, sculpture, and architecture into his works. Some pieces are large — immersive installations into which a viewer must physically enter in order to view an intricately designed vignette. “I love the idea of things being underground, subterranean, hidden,” he says, referring to these large-scale works. “I love disorienting the viewer and subverting their expectations,” he says with a grin. “My hope is that I can create an intimate and unique dialogue between the viewer and the work. Interacting with art brings us to a different place. I play with that.”

Smaller wall-mounted pieces include detailed replicas of Victorian-era rooms in various stages of decay or demolition. There’s an element of cognitive dissonance in almost everything Gary creates: a clawfoot tub dangles precariously off the edge of a tiled bathroom floor; 15 small satellite dishes attached to the top of a house all point inward; unidentifiable meat-like material obscures windows; a door is perched at the top of an exterior brick wall, leading nowhere.

He uses the house as a metaphor for the mind. “The ideas behind the work include loss, regret, desire, pain — you know, cheery things!” he laughs.

Gary has spent his residency preparing new work for a solo show, “Unknown Knowns,” at the BT&C Gallery in Buffalo that opens June 24. “This is all ridiculously time consuming,” he says, referring to the detailed, hand-crafted element of each piece. “That’s why being here is so important. I can just go and go and go.”