MC Reiley was born in Manchester,Connecticut in 1967.His
father Thomas was an art historian and antiques collector
whose specialty was medieval arms and armor. As a child,
Reiley was surrounded by art and historical objects and was
drawn to their mysterious and powerful gravity, often
tagging along at auctions and museums. These experiences
produced an early appreciation of the arts and, awakened
his need to create art. An encounter with pewter smithing
in high school shop began a life-long fascination with the
symbolic bending of metal to an ardent aesthetic will.
Reiley received his BFA from the University of Connecticut in 1990. In 1996, he began a three-year apprenticeship at the internationally renowned Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in New Jersey, where he was subsequently employed as a staff member and instructor.
In 2000, Reiley built and opened Abominog International Fine Art Foundry in Trenton, NJ where he has worked with artists such as Isaac Witkin and Eve Ingalls. He has exhibited his unique cast metal artworks regionally and has taken part in group exhibitions nationwide. His work is in several private collections and in public venues such as UConn’s Dodd Research Center and the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ. Reiley participated in the 2002 Fourth International Cast Iron Art Conference, conducting a molten iron pour at his studio and exhibiting his work at The Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton,NJ.
Reiley’s works, like the show’s title, ConvicteD, are open to various interpretations. Frequently,they are created from scrap materials in an effort to “reincarnate ” this waste into enduring, imaginative concepts that span a broad range of cultural contexts. The sculptures pulsate with a modern day gallows humor that evokes feelings ranging from repulsion to nostalgia. The frequently zoomorphic figures, simultaneously embody the fear and joy of the human condition and the caprice and disquiet of our times. The artist describes this duality as “Lowbrow high art,” like a dirty joke with a moral —an alloy of oblivion and infinity.
Babbidge Library West Alcove