To create the work, Purchase alum Fred Wilson worked with Berengo Studios in Venice in 2009 to develop a process for layering mirrors together while preserving the intricate details of a traditional 18th century Murano mirror. The thread within this work is a medication on themes in Shakespeare’s Othello. When Iago the villain of the story sets out to destroy his friend “Othello,” all he sees in the mirror is the blackness of his own soul. To create the dark reflection cast by Iago’s mirror, the back side is colored black rather than silver. Black glass is the most difficult to create and always has a colored hue, here a deep purple.
While he has always been interested in big concepts, Wilson remains fascinated by the way beauty functions in art and society. This accounts for some of the strong appeal of glass as a medium for his work.
Fred Wilson was named a MacArthur “Genius” fellow in 1999. He represented the United States at the Biennial Cairo (1992) and twice at the Venice Biennale (2003 and 2009). It was there that Iago’s Mirror was unveiled, the first in a proposed series of six. His work is in numerous public collections and he is represented by Pace Gallery in New York.