The works emerged as the tactile and visual senses channeled the ritualistic power and materiality of selected artifacts. The resulting objects exist in a space between what they were originally and what they could become. A wheel, for example, is distorted as if seen through a prism. Their collaboration grew out of years of shaping materials into one-of-a-kind objects. Intuitively, the process of creating with their hands took an inward turn. Prism is a travelogue through memories and dreams, yielding abstract forms that capture moments of transformation.
Van Wifvat grew up with eight siblings and studied sculpture and environmental design in Minneapolis at MCAD.
In 1979, he opened a storefront art gallery to promote the work of local artists. The space featured printed materials—art books, periodicals, fanzines, and postcard’s. Wifvat moved to New York in 1983 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons. In 1987, he co-founded Van Gregory & Norton design studio, specializing in convex mirrors and curtain hardware to the trade. With his studio partner Kelly Bugden, he began an art collective to present work they create as a duo and individually. The collective has collaborated with other artists in the fabrication of specific projects.
Kelly Bugden obtained a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Georgia in 1976. He moved to New York in 1982 to pursue a career in commercial photography. His work appeared in books and magazines dealing with architecture and interiors, food and entertaining, and gardening. In 2005, he joined forces with Van Wifvat at Van Gregory & Norton. Bugden’s interest in sculpture and diverse materials, honed through experimentation, led to the collaboration that evolved into the establishment of their art collective.