Monday, September 20, 2010

Then there's this other sculpture . . .

Previously I've talked about sculptures that I'd just as soon the city not purchase at the end of their exhibition downtown. I also pointed out some that I think are worthy of keeping downtown.

There are a couple additional sculptures among those in the current downtown installation, that I feel compelled to toss out for public discourse. I've walked through the World's Fair Park near the convention center a few times lately and they each beg me for inclusion in our little sculpture conversation, so here goes. I'll ask readers for help on this, since my understanding seems to be limited regarding such things.

Sailors Warning - Duke Oursler - Painted Steel - 13'X5'X5' - $12,000
The first isn't unattractive in some ways. It certainly has a good vertical leap, it's sleek and I like the primary colors. I'm not sure what it means and I'll have to confess it looks like a banana with an eye, to me. Sometimes I'm able to read the title and get some idea of what the artist was after, but in this case I have no clue. I can't find an allusion to a sailor anywhere in the piece. Can a reader help me?

Antique Picnic - Durant Thompson - Steel, Wood, Truck, Barbecue 7'X8'X17' - $5000 
The second piece gives me a stronger reaction. When I first saw it I laughed and thought, "What a clever idea, to take a broken down vehicle and make something useful (a picnic table and barbecue grill if you can't tell from the picture). The more I looked at it, the less enamored I became. I realize every artistic endeavor doesn't isn't making a statement, but this one seems to be. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the statement that was being made. What do you think it is saying, if anything? I started to feel it was a negative statement about our region, playing off the stereotype of broken down, rusted vehicles with flat tires sitting interminably in front of the house. Making matters worse, it is beside the convention center which hosts (when times are good) visitors from outside our area. Is this what we really want to present to them? On the other hand, maybe I'm making too much out of nothing or missing the point entirely. I'll happily be educated, if you want to weigh in. Just be nice. This isn't the comment board at the KNS site (thankfully).

Flow Mojo, Krutch Park, Knoxville
Finally, a reprise for a piece that I wrote about previously: Flow Mojo by artist Mike Roig. I picked it as my second most desirable piece to keep downtown and I later learned that it was voted the Best of Show by the Dogwood Arts judges. Maybe my taste is pretty good, after all. I do hope the city bought that one. If not, you only have a few weeks to come to Krutch Park and see it live and in action. The installation is due to be removed at the end of October.
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At September 21, 2010 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you consider the old weather adage:

"Red skies at night; sailors delight.
Red skies at morning; sailors take warning."

At September 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what I thought the title was referencing as well, and it made me wonder if the selection of that piece for that spot was a subtle comment on our convention center. I'm probably reading too much in to that sculpture being placed in that spot, but it made me laugh.

At September 21, 2010 at 10:31 AM , Anonymous KnoxvilleUrbanGuy said...

Hmm. A commentary on the convention center - wouldn't that be brassy! I did not think of that old adage. So, if we follow that, then the red must be a slice of the morning sky and the round object . . . a sailor's eyeball popping out at the sight of it? This may be too deep for me, but I'm trying to hang.

At September 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks more like the slices of fruit garnishing a froofy rum drink on a cruise ship. Maybe it's a hangover warning for 'sailors' on Carnival.

At September 21, 2010 at 11:25 PM , Anonymous Cathy Tyner said...

Flow Mojo gets my vote.

At September 21, 2010 at 11:37 PM , Blogger Kevin said...

Here goes...the sun (yellow) in relationship to its position with the planet (red) indicates it's morning. The boat shape (red for red skies) is upended, hence "sailors take warning."'s a kazoo, signaling the approach of pirates.

At September 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM , Anonymous KnoxvilleUrbanGuy said...

Nice comments. The rum certainly makes sense and who can not like Flow Mojo. As for Kevin's comments: very deep. That's a lot of symbolism to wade through, but I'm thinking it really makes sense. It pulls all the disparate components into an integrated message, a warning. A warning about what precisely? Global warming - as in we are all sailors on this great ship. More thought is defininitely in order, but I think Kevin is right: It is a kazoo!


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