100 Project Artist Statement

100 Project Artist Statement

Sculpture: A

Michael Mendelson


The shiv that I have made resembles abuse in the incarceration system. I saw a documentary about how the prisons don’t operate well unless the prisons are full of inmates. This topic is very dear to me because I think it is unjust how we put people in prison because they did a small felony like smoking weed. This problem has been occurring since the 80’s and still happens today. I believe this problem will be solved when there is more media coverage on the issue. I placed the shiv in a prison cell that I made to represent people having to protect themselves in prison with handmade weapons like a shiv. A record number of exonerations happened in 2015 because of a failing justice system that is supposed to assume that you are innocent.

I was able to make this shiv and prison cell sculpture by using over one hundred Q-Tips and lots of hot glue. The sculpture took planning and multiple tries and techniques. But one of the tries I truly got it right. I made the handle of the shiv by bending a bunch of Q-Tips in a circular shape and glueing them all together. I made the tip of the shiv by glueing a bunch of Q-Tips together and then I carved the the tip of the Q-Tips to create an indent. In the indent I placed a screw and glued it inside of the indent to make a sharp tip. For the jail cell I made a middle piece and then four long rows of Q-Tips that I glued together. I put one row at each side of the middle piece and then I glued The shiv to the middle place. I decide to make the jail cell look as if the walls fell down because I wouldn’t have been possible to make the walls stand up.IMG_2529.JPGIMG_2526.JPGIMG_2527.JPG

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