Much of the sculpture I’m seeing on social media depends on the impact of the juxtapositions of some kind of physical property and/or conceptual context.

Scale, material, art history, and pop culture, collide in a mashup of vision, experience and meaning. Think of a monumental replica bust of Caesar,  made of chocolate, upon a column draped with Confederate flags… that sort of thing.

My reactions to these is sometimes “what a lot of work” for so simple an effect. I think that much of this is built by fabricators or makers, and what are now lately described as “art workers”. It more frequently makes good use of digital tools like 3D scanners and printers, especially in the use of the large scale. This is enabling for three dimensional work, the same cut-and-paste mentality which has done so much to energize the 2D works of the multimedia, but especially photography, or more accurately, digital images. See my post, machine-made-art

I see a time may come soon where large sculptures are no longer shipped worldwide for display, but reproductions, “editions” if you will, are quickly fabricated locally for show, using digitally controlled machinery.

The “Artists” of these works perform as directors or executives, and never emerge from the conceptual realm. Thereafter, the work appears imaginary and insubstantial, and can convey most of what can be know about it in a simple photograph. These images travel well over the internet by delivering their easy visual gags to the many undiscriminating online awaiting entertainment.

I want to “like” a lot of this work, for its design element, but it is rather simple and jokey. I am still surprised (and jealous) about the amount of resources often going into making it.

Meanwhile, the individual object of art is almost unaffected by this change. It will continue to be created, mostly by one person, by hand, with simple tools, or un-specialized machines, individually. There is little distribution because the market is small and the object is unique and physical, limited in movement. The personal expression of the artist is unique in it’s source: the inner life of the person, it’s creation: the specific manual skill and sensibility of the artist, and it’s meaning: sensuality or spirit, Dionysian or Apollonian, and more.

1 thought on “juxtapositions

  1. Anonymous

    Hey, Matthew: I was looking at this web site http://www.chrisscala.com and thought of you–not because it is anything like you, but that this man experiments with so many mediums. And by the way it really like your blue horse with the belly and the necklace! Looks like you are discovering things yet again and having a good time while doing it. Missing talking with you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s