Crystal Wagner Weaving Coloration And Nature Into Its Own Organic Structure

How would you describe your practice in three words?

Imaginative, Biomorphic, Otherworldly

How does the color palette choice happen?

I’m inspired by color relationships found in nature. Currently, I’m pretty obsessed with exotic birds. : ) Nature always does it better.

Your works resemble origami and mandala. How much of these two elements is embedded there?

If it is there, it is a byproduct of my process. I’m interested in organic forms and structures. In how, through meticulous accumulation, a piece can “grow’ into itself.

Crystal Wagner
Crystal Wagner

Which is your favorite work to date and why?

The work is constantly evolving. I work intuitively so each piece is a moment and when it is finished I’m onto the next moment. I can appreciate each of those moments for what they are and I do celebrate them for the specific quality of the investigation that they explore.

Is there a specific message you are trying to convey and if so, why?

I’m interested in things that are familiar yet foreign. For me, each piece is a curious investigation of forms and structures found in nature. In the 21st-century people have a very unique relationship with the natural world and even in sharing the terrain around us, there is an otherness to plants and animals that I find myself fascinated. The architecture of plants, the adaptable coloration on animals.

Crystal Wagner
Crystal Wagner

Which is the medium that allows you to express yourself better?

My studio practice is interdisciplinary. Even though I was trained as both a printmaker and a sculptor, I don’t like to limit myself to any particular mode of making. For me the medium shifts and changes as my focus does. I’m perpetually curious and because of that, nothing is off-limits. For example, my current body of hemisphere work is paper sculpture, my large-scale installation works inside buildings are recycled birthday party tables and cloth.

Why do you choose minimal and simple lines to portray intricate and complex subjects?

I really wouldn’t describe my work as minimal in any way. It’s quite exuberant and lush.

Crystal Wagner
Crystal Wagner

How much personal narrative is embedded in your works?

I don’t really think of my work in terms of narrative. It’s an exploration for me. It does reveal more than anything else the way I see the world around me. The particular focus of my curious mind and my investigation at any given moment. The work is researching that way. It allows me to understand growth and fruition as I move from the first mark on my pieces to the finished moment. 

Which are your inspiration sources?

This amazing planet we live on. Every single leaf, stem, insect, tree, fossil. The natural landscape is captivating and inspires me every day. I will always be in awe of its diversity and structure.

Crystal Wagner


Photography by Crystal Wagner

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