Meet The Miami Glass Sculptor Creating Geometric Labyrinths Of Light


Miami artist Brookhart Jonquil measures a piece of mirrored glass for a sculpture.

From soaring medieval cathedral windows to Victorian crystal palaces to modern skyscrapers, glass has been the material of choice for engineering wonder. It can refract light, make structures seemingly defy gravity and even manipulate perceptions of space. Artist Brookhart Jonquil harnesses these reality-bending qualities in his geometric glass sculptures.

Jonquil gravitated toward glass because “I wanted to make an object without using any physical material,” he explains. “I knew that wasn’t possible, so I found the faintest sliver of matter that would interact with light and gravity to create an object through perception.”

Each piece request exact measurements from mathematical calculations.

A close-up of one of Jonquil's geometric glass sculpture.

An in-progress piece in the artist's Miami warehouse-like studio shows a hexagon form.

The artist uses intangible forces to create his piecesmthat warp the way viewers witness space and light for a visual illusion.

Jonquil occasionally incorporates fluorescent bulbs in his work.

Manipulating clear and mirrored glass achieves this incorporeal experience. Jonquil carefully calculates his structures’ dimensions through sketches and CAD programs to create these prism-like effects. In his Miami warehouse studio stacked with glass sheets, he often cuts and bonds pieces by hand onto metal scaffolding. Together, these facets create cascading shapes that shift when observed from different angles. “Its form emerges from emptiness, emptiness emerging from form,” says the artist, who is represented by Emerson Dorsch. Sometimes paired with fluorescent bulbs, these reflections multiply into labyrinths of light.

Yet every hand-cut joint remains visible to viewers. “You understand the mechanisms and still see the mirage,” he explains. “You’re creating my work in your mind. If you close your eyes, the piece ceases to exist.”

The sculptures’ hard angularity has softened in Jonquil’s recent pieces incorporating water, which contort space in unpredictable ways— but also introduce nature. “If there’s warmth and water, life happens,” he notes. “I wanted to examine that complexity.” At the Deering Estate, nature flocked to the artist’s first water sculpture, Earth Arise, Sky Descend—a transparent Plexiglas pyramid floating in water that grew populated by algae, grass and wild animals. These explorations continued in his interactive installation at the Miami Botanical Gardens, where visitors could water plant cuttings in Plexiglas.

Jonquil’s latest piece is on display at the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club from November 17 through December 8, compelling viewers to feel the undercurrents sustaining our daily existence through his work. Indeed, through the artist’s lens, life is truly something to behold.