Created and Sold by Mike Mandel

Mike Mandel

Architectural Records

Item details

1 inch ceramic and glass tile
Two murals 32’ x 36’
Two pillars 32’ x 11’
$180,000 Architectural Records

This wall design emphasizes a photographic illusion. A person is photographed holding a book open to a page of Mission San Jose that seems to be casting a shadow over a backdrop of the San Antonio. At the close of the 19th century, San Antonio’s early mix of colonial-Mexican-Old West inspired architecture was considered unique and out of the mainstream during the push for American modernity characterized by eastern and midwestern cities.

And so, this design counterpoints mission architecture with the San Antonio to come. The right hand page of the book will have an image of the building that one is standing within at UTSA, suggesting the viewer’s participation in an ongoing architectural dialogue.

Context & Credits

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Meet the Creator

Mike Mandel

Mike Mandel

Watertown, MA

"Over a period of thirty years I have designed both temporary (billboards) and permanent (tile mosaic) artworks specifically for public sites. My work has been primarily focused on public art projects transforming photographic imagery into largescale glass and porcelain tile mosaic murals. In 1974 I received a Masters in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, concentrating in Photography. Among my awards are four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and numerous other grants and awards. My work is represented in museum collections throughout the world and I have published extensively. In 1977 Larry Sultan and I authored Evidence, a photo narrative comprised only of images that we found in government and corporate archives, such as police, fire departments, aerospace and engineering firms. The photographs were originally made as documents of crime scenes, rocket experiments, etc. But by inventing a new sequence within the book format, they come to symbolize an entirely new message about the failure of faith in progress and technology. This book has been recognized as a precursor to subsequent postmodern strategies of photo practice, and was re-published in 2004 by Distributed Art Publishers in New York. My most recent book is a collaborative effort with my wife, Chantal Zakari, entitled The State of Ata, 2010. In 2006 I was invited to participate in the 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, “Of Mice and Men,” in Berlin, Germany. In 2009 I participated in Art Basel, Switzerland, and Photo España, Madrid.

In the 1980's when I recognized that photography was becoming transformed into a digital medium I began to work with photographs on the computer. A digitized photograph is comprised of numerous square units of color called "pixels." My interest in public art and specifically in finding a way to translate photographs into a more architectural scale led me to the idea of a mosaic based on electronic imagery. A one-inch ceramic or glass tile could be considered a real-world analog to the electronic pixel, and thousands of these tiles could add up to become a wall of photographic imagery. My approach to permanent public art is to tap into the intertwined stories of history, myths, images of land and community. I recognize the documentary power of photography and find strategies to translate this energy into public design."

Available for commission/custom work