“Curiouser and curiouser...”
Like Alice in Wonderland, you might say Alice Husak fell into the curious world of reverse glass painting by chance. As a college student without many funds, Alice quickly became thrifty with her art supplies. “I would find anything I could in the alleys to paint on – including glass. One day I was drying a piece –propped backwards and as I walked past it, I was floored by the depth of colors from the backside of the glass.” It was both a happy accident and an ongoing experiment.
A decade later, Alice says she still loves the process and continues experimenting with new techniques. She uses up to 30 layers of paint, which work to create a slight animation from different angles when they mix with light. “Depending on where you’re standing, new images appear and disappear.” And like the name indicates, every layer is painted in reverse, a challenge in and of itself. “You start with the smallest details first then you build it from there, it’s the exact opposite of regular painting.” Nothing is off-limits with Alice’s creative process, like incorporating flowers and leaves into resin on glass– every season brings new inspiration. “I like to work with the seasons. This art is like journaling.”
Her latest experiment was born, quite fittingly, in an Alice and Wonderland kind of dream. After stumbling upon a unique set of vintage polycarbonate “Uncle Jack” chairs, created by French industrial designer Phillipe Starck, she dreamt about transforming them into something new. “It’s just as comfortable as it is striking. He designed it so it wouldn’t occupy any visual space, but when I saw it I was like this has got to occupy visual space!” Alice re-imagined the design to create a stardust appeal, a subtle nod to the international space station, which Starck also designed.
For Alice, reverse glass painting offers a world of possibility and limitless creation. “I call it looking glass because it ties into ‘Through the Looking Glass,’ which is what I’m experiencing, creating these pieces backwards and inside out.” Like every season, we expect Alice’s art to continue to pique our curiosity.