Euclidian Interlude on Display.jpg
Fantasma Photonico On Display.jpg

JP Muller’s five-work exhibition, “Static Dynamism,” can be found at Tysons Corner Center for  the next week or so. The sculptures are large and varied. One of them, “Pin Toy Meditation  Wall,” is an actual hands-on experience. Muller connected 48 pin toy screens to form a wall  allowing visitors to join in the creative process, while the art remains in a constant state of flux.  The wall fits in perfectly with the artist’s exhortation to viewers, “Let’s dance, and always  discover things. You know, be curious.”  

Curiosity and exploration are words Muller repeats often when describing his art, and his  personality. Muller, who is 64, describes his artistic process as “scientific jocularity.” It is  through his sculptures that he works out complex scientific ideas. To explain the concept of  static dynamism, the artist starts by describing one of the works, ‘Fantasma Photonico.” The  title, which is in Spanish, means ghost of the light.  

“It’s dichroic sheets. They polarize with the light, and I’ve created a tetrahedron, a vertical  tetrahedron, and then I made two pyramidical tetrahedrons that fit inside that. Then there’s a  prism inside of that. It’s just sitting on a piece of driftwood…As you walk around it, because of  the polarization of these sheets, the items inside not only change color, but they appear and  disappear,” said Muller. “It’s static, it’s just sitting there, but we are all in motion 24/7. Because the world is spinning and we don’t exactly stand still, that brings my pieces to life. If you just walk by you’re not going to notice, but if you walk in these arcs, which is typically what we do, the reflections, the refractions, the entire timbre of every piece changes with that. So, they’re dynamic.”  

He tends to say of his portfolio, “Schrödinger’s cat would be proud.” 

Muller would tell you he was trained as a toolmaker. While true, that is also an understatement.  Americans view tool-making as a form of mass production. Muller trained in Switzerland, he is  an artisan, or as he describes himself, a process engineer. People come to him when they have a problem. He creates the fix and takes their concept from ideation to installation. 

The artist and his wife own a fabrication shop. He still oversees many things but is no longer in the trenches daily. He has moved on to his true love, sculpture. Muller had the urge to study  art when he was young, but he pushed that to the side. He was in his mid-50s when he finally  gave in to the calling.  

“You know I had this song in my mind and I went out in my garage and I started working on a  piece of copper [with] a Dremel tool, and I began working on the dress of a flamenco dancer,”  said Muller. “It was about 10 o’clock in the morning, [there was] music going out in the garage.  You know I’m just messing around, and it starts working, starts clicking. The next thing I know  my wife opens the door and says, ‘Hey, your dinner is getting cold.’” 

His art varies in size. One piece, “Mr. Moire,” is 10 feet tall, while other works can fit on a table.  No matter the size, Mueller typically takes somewhere between 1 and 3 months to move a  sculpture from concept through construction. For “Mr. Moire” a lot of that time was spent in a  grinder etching all the metal surfaces. 

Muller believes there is a cerebral connection that happens when people view his work. That is a concept he finds appealing, “I may never meet the person but we have just made an ethereal  connection. I live for that.” 

This is the second installation at the shopping complex designed to highlight Fairfax County  artists. The team behind these collaborations is ArtsFairfax, and Macerich, the real estate  investment company that owns, and develops Tysons Corner Center. The exhibition is located  on the second floor near Bloomingdales.

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