When I was invited to an exhibit of “Functional Art Glass,” my first reaction was, WTF is Functional Art Glass? Then I read a little bit further into the press release and realized that, back in the day, a piece of Functional Art Glass was referred to as a Water Pipe, or a Bong. And now, it is functional art! I can’t tell you how much I love knowing this. As Andy Warhol once said, “Art is What You Can Get Away With.”
Celebrating Twenty Years in business, lifestyle accessories brand 1Percent, one of the leading online retailers for smoking accessories, is currently hosting a gallery showcase, pop-up shop, and a series of events in New York City for the month of January. The gallery features over 75 unique glass sculptures in the Nor’Easter Collection, and you can see why these pieces have risen the status of collectable art. Nor’Easter is a celebration of pipe culture from respected glass artists spanning across the east coast, including MTP, JOP!, Coyle and Slinger.
For fans and collectors alike, 1Percentwill provide a one-on-one exclusive experience with Brandon Long, the gallery curator, as he explains the basics of functional glass, the innovators, and the outlook for high-end glass collectors with the current glass renaissance. I was lucky enough to get a VIP guided tour of the glass with Brandon, and his knowledge is not only impressive but his stories are fun and engaging.
Brandon knows many of these artists personally and is familiar with their education, techniques and methods of creating these pipes. He had a fascinating anecdote about every piece in the gallery! I will attempt to recall some of what he said in my captions for the photos to follow.
Post Continues After The Jump!