Thursday, January 29, 2015

Calder's Gibraltar

Calder's Gibraltar at MOMA is a study in contrasts, weight and weightlessness; smooth vs rough; natural vs man-made. It also contrasts with much of his other work in that it is much simpler and less refined than most "Calders" you'll see. 
lignum vitae, walnut, steel rods, and painted wood
I think it is very revealing that the museum's label says it was a gift of the artist in 1966. Certainly he could have had easily sold it at some point during the forty years he kept it in his personal collection -- so it must have had a special place in his heart. Though it isn't stunningly beautiful like the majority of his work, and is much more experimental in a playful way, it still contains iconic qualities of a "Calder" such as balance.
 Gibraltar (closeup)
I love how the white ball is both defying gravity and subject to it, as if it should roll off the "table" and is instead seemingly drawn to the "rock" as if it is large enough to create its own powerful gravitational field. I also love how the "wing" is floating high above the "rock" next to the round star/planet/sun.
 Gibraltar (closeup)
Like a lot of the idiosyncratic Calder wood sculptures I've seen, this piece doesn't seem to have been made for public consumption. I feel artists need to make time for creating work that isn't made to be sold, work that gives their creative mind space to make things that are made for no good reason at all. That is what I love most about it. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Pieces of 2015

My summer home improvement projects inspired me to create a coffee table that fit with the rest of my home decor, so I got a plywood piece that I made several years ago and added some color. 
Coffee Table
latex paint and stain on board
19.5" x 21" x 44"
I like that I was able to start with a simple box because the painting is really the focus, the structure is merely a three-dimensional canvas.
In painting it, I wanted to create something that is different from the other pieces in the room while still being clearly of the same series. 
The side facing away from the couch is my favorite. I'm also especially fond of that garish green stripe among the nondescript white ones.
I painted this found "coffee-table-ish" table at the same time because it was old and grimy, and I knew it wouldn't take much more time to do as long as I used the same colors. Because of the underlying old paints that I couldn't clean off completed tape wouldn't stick, so I needed to use a different design. I figure you can never go wrong with polka dots and I like that this one has a more playful feel than the other. 
Painted Found Table
latex paint and stain on wood
12.5" x 25.5" x 42"
It always feels good to add something to my home I know I'll never see anywhere else.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Not A Polaroid

At the recently closed Carlo Mollino exhibit of polaroids at Gagosian Gallery in NYC there was this non-polaroid Carlo Mollino. There was no label information and it can't be found on their website since it wasn't actually part of the show so I don't know much about it other than it is brilliant and made of cherry. 
I love everything about it, the shapes, the interactions of the different pieces, the originality,
so I thought I should share it. If anyone has any information to add, please do.