HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — While some artists’ stock-in-trade is intentionality, Detroit-based Dylan Spaysky has a more freewheeling air when it comes to his offbeat sculptural creations, most of which employ found objects in various states of brokenness or disrepair. The playfulness with which he approaches these raw materials — including kitty recreation towers, wicker chairs, and sponges — is emblematic of a take-what-comes attitude that reads as genuine.
What has come, in the case of Vases, a group of sculptures on display at Popps Packing in Hamtramck, are a series of “vases” (looking at the work, you can practically hear the air quotes) made of the lumpen material ends of edible discard from an artisanal candy shop Spaysky discovered during a trip to New York. The works bear vestiges of the different candy types, leaving quasi-structured waves of color, the result of a melting and cooling process, by which Spaysky draws a parallel to high-end artisanal glass objects. Having first encountered this material more than a year ago, Spaysky made it into a sculpture that he kept in his studio, gradually warping with humidity and accruing a layer of ambient filth, until he realized he could lacquer it to create a permanent object.