As you’ve been shopping for your fresh vegetables, flowers and fruits of late at the Hayground farm field in Water Mill, you will certainly have noticed a rather large, colorful sculpture created by East End native, Robert “Mojo” Mojeski. The sculpture, entitled “Synopsis,” moves with the wind, and complements the surrounding landscape. If you have missed it for some reason, than while sitting in traffic along 27, look for his piece “The Tipping Point XIX” across from The Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack.
Born in Southampton, Mojo is a former local offshore commercial fisherman, and attributes his moving sculptures to his many years at sea – motion begets motion. During his stays on terra firma, he began creating his sculptures on commission, which have evolved into his recognizable large outdoor pieces incorporating innovative waves of movement that keep the eye focused on the work and how it moves and even when it might stop.
A participant in this year’s Art Southampton, Mojo’s work can also be found in The Hooke Sculpture Gallery in Sag Harbor, Marder’s Landscape Store in Bridgehampton, and in yards and homes throughout the Hamptons.
Catching up with this motion man, Mojo talks about his latest creation, “Amateur Hour,” his inspiration, influences and what he hopes the viewer might see and interpret when viewing his graceful works.
Love the title, “Amateur Hour,” what’s it mean to you and why?
RM: It was sort of a pun. There is so much detail and engineering that went into “Amateur Hour” and it took about seven months to put it together, but art is so fickle. It seems that no matter how creative someone is it’s really about the marketing. Now those guys are the real artists these days. “Amateur Hour” has such intricate details to make it function – there are so many working parts some of them are so simple, but yet so complex when it’s working together as a whole.
Who or what has influenced your work over these years?
RM: Alexander Calder, Rube Goldberg, and George Rickey. Their innovative style really speaks to me. These guys were true pioneers, they inspire me.
Art is interpretative, but what do you hope the viewer sees when gazing at a Mojo?
RM: I really want the viewers to become involved in my work. I want them to fall under my spell. I like when someone feels that hypnotic effect that they can look at for days. I enjoy listening to spectators trying to recreate how things are working. I love hearing them dissect the inner mechanisms of things; it has the effect of audience participation in some way and that participation is important to me.
How difficult is it to create such large scale pieces when affordable studio space, particularly in the Hamptons, is cost prohibitive?
RM: When I am inspired I have to do it. No matter what. In the past I’ve started things in my driveway, I’ve borrowed space. Fortunately now I have a studio in Southampton. The space isn’t as big as I’d like, but it works. I stumble around my art and make as much of it inside as I can, I make do.
What prompts use of such vibrant colors in your work?
RM: I seem to be drawn to those primary colors, it’s where it all begins, you know? I’m not limited to them, but I like them. I’m also drawn to raw steel and stainless too.
RM: Whatever pours out of my head. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it; it’s whatever sets me off. Sometimes I may see an object and the next thing I know it’s turned into a sculpture. Where some people see garbage I see new life.
Any “artistic statement” you want those who appreciate such beautiful work to know about you?
RM: Everywhere I go I am daydreaming about what I am going to build next. My wheels are always turning, I’m not limited to kinetic sculpture, but for the moment I’m stuck on it. Even when I create still sculpture it tends have the illusion of movement.
For more information go to www.robertmojo.com.