Robert Sestok is a prominent Cass Corridor artist, whose complex, welded steel sculptures can be found installed in public spaces around Detroit and New York City, among other places. Better known as Bob, Sestok continues to be an unassuming source of inspiration and support for a new generation of artists taking their first unsteady steps into the wider world of professional art. Sestok’s new show, which opens this Friday at the CCS Center Galleries, represents a departure from the work for which he is traditionally known. Not only does the show feature large scale paintings rather than Sestok’s traditional medium of sculpture and obvious passion for welded metal, but the show is comprised entirely of representational portraits, rather than Sestok’s tendency toward abstraction.
The show is not without some of the hallmarks that fans of Sestok’s work have come to expect. Perhaps unable to depart from sculpture entirely, Sestok has assembled a 3-D gallery presentation, with the large-scale painting hanging from rafters and configured into an environment that invites exploration. Sestok revealed his use of a projector in the making of these large-scale works, first drawing his subjects smaller, projecting them onto the canvases, and then repainting them at many times the size. Though far more representational than most of Sestok’s traditional imagery, the works still contain the strong contrast and interplay of geometrics that give Sestok’s work in all mediums extraordinary depth and maintain the viewer’s interest beyond cursory examination.
The opening reception for the show will take place this Friday, November 2 at the Center Galleries, Manoogian Visual Resource Center in the College for Creative Studies, 301 Frederick Douglass (corner of Brush Street), Detroit; 313-664-7800.