All photos courtesy of Samson Projects

Todd Pavlisko in front of 'All The Money I Found In A Year, 2004-2014,' an installation at the Cincinnati Art Museum


New Faculty Spotlight

Meet interdisciplinary artist Todd Pavlisko, our new assistant professor of fine arts

For interdisciplinary artist Todd Pavlisko, time is relative. He recently collaborated with a military sniper to create “Crown,” a video installation that captures the trajectory of bullets fired into a brass cube set in the midst of the Cincinnati Art Museum, collapsing art history into a millisecond and then expanding it again, slowing the footage as the camera travels past icons of the collection. (Watch the video below to see Pavlisko talk about the project.)

“All the Money I Found in a Year” (shown above) represents 10 years of amassing coins as found objects, which Pavlisko then gold plated, encasing the histories of the objects in a decadent façade. He twists timelines outside the studio as well. A few months ago, faced with a departure board full of cancelled flights, Pavlisko drove 12 hours through a snowstorm to make it to a job interview on time. We’re glad he made it, because that interview brought Pavlisko to Brandeis as the newest member of the studio art faculty.  

“Todd is truly a 21st-century artist,” says Joe Wardwell, director of studio art at Brandeis. “His diverse body of work perfectly represents the dynamic and multifaceted way in which art can connect with and comment on all aspects of contemporary existence.”

Contemporary sculpture draws on everything that an artist can manipulate in three — or four — dimensions. Pavlisko joins a studio art program that is strong on fundamental courses as well as opportunities for advanced students to experiment with film, performance and installation work.

“Todd will fortify the studio art program by bringing attention to new media, crossdisciplinary approaches to making, and a rigorous studio ethic in an expanding field of sculpture,” says Tory Fair, associate professor in fine arts. “And he is clearly someone who is energized by, and whose studio practice thrives from, collaboration. I am excited to see how this might also be reflected in our evolving sculpture program.”  

Brandeis’ reputation as a place with collaborative spirit was attractive to Pavlisko, who has been part of the Boston arts community since 2010 as a Samson Projects artist. “I saw right away that the culture here is incredibly smart and welcomes crossdisciplinary thinking and making, which is a critical tool in contemporary arts education,” he says. “The campus is the cherry on top. The gorgeous trees. The hilly backdrop. The community areas that allow students and faculty to interact. What a beautiful environment to study in and to make art around.”  

In addition to teaching at many museums, art schools and universities, Pavlisko has a long creative relationship with the Andy Warhol Museum. He has exhibited his work and curated cultural exchanges in Mexico, Italy and the Netherlands, and in group and solo shows all over the United States. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; the Museum of Art and Design; and P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art, as well as in many private collections.

This interview, which was originally published in the fall 2014 State of the Arts magazine, appears here courtesy of the Office of the Arts.