Whimsy and irony, and the critique of cultural norms inhabit Sideli’s sculptures. He creates by using only “as found” objects which he does not rework. Respecting each objects distinctiveness and purpose, Sideli finds ingenious ways to combine elements giving the composition a new personality.
In Sideli’s sculptures the name or title of each artwork offers us these new identities. Sometimes names of compositions remain unconscious until completion, or, they are intentional from the outset induced by a single material element. Sideli’s wit finds ironic universalities from everyday objects. Until his vision brings the clues together, the material elements remain common and unapparent. His alchemic process can take years for his constructions to be arrived at. The tension and compatibility of each object’s relationship to its’ counterpart is revealed by the tinkerer’s process.
For 45 years John Sideli has been contributing his inventive constructions to an artistic lineage that has been explored by Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, Varjun Boghasian’s collaged assemblages from dream and reality, as well as the artwork of Robert Rauschenberg and Joseph Cornell. Arriving in 1968 as caretaker to Alexander Calder’s homestead in Roxbury, Connecticut, Sideli availed himself of Calder’s studio to begin investigating his artistic approach. Influenced by Calder’s use of found metals and scrap parts, which resulted in kinetic and whimsical outcomes, Sideli began his use of “as found everyday objects” as a narrative form of expression.