Baltimore based artist Becky Borlan engages in a multi-disciplinary practice that is grounded in playful, large-scale public art. Through her sculptures and installations, Borlan explores geometric form and color interactions, creating engaging and immersive experiences that challenge perception. Drawing from a wide range of materials, she experiments with perceived functionalities, proportions and color theory.
She has been working in public art since 2009, first as studio manager for artist Janet Echelman, creating city-scaled public art installations, then as a project manager for DC based artist Steven Weitzman, integrating aesthetic enhancements into transportation infrastructure.
For the last 4 years she has focused on growing her own public art practice, completing commissions throughout the greater DC area. She has just installed her second permanent sculpture for DC public schools, designed a Veteran’s memorial for Hyattsville, MD, and is preparing a public art workshop and lecture tour across Maryland supported by the Maryland State Arts Council.
By exploring fundamental building block shapes, I aim to interrupt the ubiquity of the built environment with whimsical and playful sculptures that express my constant wonderment with the visual world.
Contrasting color and hard edge geometry with both organic and man-made settings throws the landscapes we come to ignore into a more stark relief. This leads the viewer to noticing, appreciating, and engaging.
The conversation between site and sculpture is essential and my process involves in depth exploration of specific site conditions, which are then distilled and abstracted into bold colorful gestures that the viewer can relate to on a human scale.
My sculptures emphasize that play is a serious pursuit, one that should be revisited often to refresh our perception and challenge our mindsets.
Interview with Washington City Paper
Art reveals a creative, historical side to Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Washington Post
Becky Borlan’s “Bricks” reflects the history of masonry in Foggy Bottom. Bold and colorful, the piece depicts a brick wall, albeit one made entirely of transparent acrylic.
(e)merge art fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, Washington Post
The work — called “Too Much Is Never Enough,” after the title of Lapidus’s autobiography — is meant to be fun, not heavy, Borlan says. “I think [Lapidus] really, really believed that phrase,” she says. “He gilded the lily, and then he added another bouquet.”
My technique is more fluid. Depending on the project, I’m either responding to a particular site or material, sometimes both. So I try to let that guide the creative process. With public art, there are usually certain constraints inherent to the situation, and I actually enjoy figuring out how to work within them because it keeps me on my toes. It forces me to look beyond the obvious answers.