“Fashion is an oracle itself. It predicts the future. In Greek mythology, an oracle would see and know things, as would the woman who’d wear this gown.” -Thea Lanzisero
Sculptress mesmerizes Archer
Confidence, mystery, and an idea about what the future may hold are three things Archer has in common with Oracle, the sculpture installed at Archer Hotel New York. Thea Lanzisero (creator) is a New York Artist whose work emanates strength and personal victory.
Some of her best known works include a sculpture featured in the Anne Frank Garden (Huntington, NY) of a dress Anne Frank could have worn, and Leigha, a “dress” of armor – designed to inspire her daughter. Archer believes Thea will become celebrated for her work on Oracle.
Archer admires Thea’s approach to art and her commitment to welding, which requires discipline, devotion and patience, and is proud to display one of her major works just outside the front doors of his Midtown West hotel. Archetype caught up with Thea when she wasn’t in her Long Island studio armed in a mask and safety goggles. A delightful Q & A followed.
I am fortunate that my parents encouraged me toward my art career. At Southampton College, I learned to weld. Later at SUNY Purchase, I began to love welding as well as working with other materials, like bamboo.
Welding is not usually an art form for girls… well wait, I suppose it is. There were years when I needed to consider the safety of young children at home and finances (welding is expensive). Also, I can be accident prone. I have torn canvasses by accident and crushed ceramics inadvertently. Although some may say that welding is an art form which is out of fashion, metal is a good match for me.
How do you balance art with working on a commissioned piece?
With Archer, it was a smooth fit. Archer was looking for a sculpture to be installed in the Garment District, and I am creating dress sculptures. The design for Oracle is inspired by a combination of Christian Dior dress forms. Thankfully, Archer believes in fashion, women and art.
I’m working on a one person show to be held at the Sculptures Guild Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, this December. I’m experimenting with new ideas and the challenge of creating enough work for an entire show. I’m working with different media – perhaps a large dress form or several smaller ones.
Is it silly to ask where you get the metal you sculpt?
Getting the metal is sometimes a story in itself. There are a few local yards here in my area where I purchase the heavy sheets. Also, there are multiple places where I have relationships with people who allow me to search through recycling containers for found objects.
Steel and bronze are both reusable and recyclable substances – not many people think of them that way, but I love knowing that my work is made of recycled materials.
Do you think about fashion while you are working in your studio?
I am inspired couture forms and the female form while I’m working on gowns. So yes, I think about fashion.
I need to consider safety every day in the studio, especially using the equipment I use to create sculpture. But, I hate to have to dress in an overly masculine way everyday while I work.
Recently, I found a paper pattern for some 1930’s-1940’s women’s dungarees. Think “Rosie The Riveter” and you’ll get the idea. I’m going to make some pairs of dungarees for myself. I’ll have both fashion and function!