Washington-based artist Dylan Martinez explores the boundaries of human perception with his series of glass sculptures, aptly titled Glass Water Bags. At first glance, you might think these images are of ordinary plastic bags filled with water—just like the type of bag you would carry a pet goldfish home in. However, you might be surprised to find out they’re actually made of hot-sculpted glass.
Completely solid and weighing around 10-12 lbs each, these incredibly realistic sculptures are complete with trapped, rising bubbles, ripple-like creases, and hand-tied knots. Influenced by traditional glass-making techniques, Martinez takes a contemporary—and often novel—approach to the art. The artist experiments with the boundaries of the material. “Through my artwork,” Martinez explains, “I create scenarios in which the viewer must question their capacity to navigate between reality and illusion.” With the largest Glass Water Bag standing at 16” tall, the gifted sculptor reveals, “No molds, no resin, every wrinkle was created individually, 100% glass made in the hot shop.”
Martinez’s fascination with perception stems from that fact that he is red-green colorblind. He explains, “Having a deficit in my color vision is an alternative way of seeing.” He continues, “What is fascinating is that our desires often override our perception of reality and you believe what you think is visible as the truth.”