I can’t get to comment on my public art blog. As its manager, I have to be unbiased and have to post examples of public art whether I like them or not–whether they’re deserving or not, I shouldn’t have a say about it. The point of the blog is to feature both known and not so well-known artworks (and artists) in order to be fair for everyone.
But it doesn’t mean I can’t get to comment about some of them HERE in my personal blog. Hehe.
I just want to write about my three favorite public works of art (click on the pix to link you to the art blog). When i was making the features on them, I was thrilled about them and found them so fascinating. These are prime examples of how art moves you…well, at least it moved me… even to the point of tears:
Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn. I was aware of who Alison Lapper is, already in awe of her even before I saw this large, beautiful marble statue of her likeness (when she was pregnant in 1999). She was one of the parents who were part of Child of Our Time, the ground-breaking BBC docu-series which I often watched on cable. My heart went out to her as I watched her raise her son, Parys, (alone or with caregivers) especially during moments when he hugs her but of course, she cannot physically reciprocate, having no arms of her own. The statue was considered controversial, being displayed in Trafalgar Square, not suited to the tastes of those who think that statues should only be about the ideal body–perfect, slender or muscular, and having four limbs. I think it’s perfect already in itself. They say statues displayed in Trafalgar Square should only be about heroes. Well, Lapper, who survived abandonment, cruelty and abuse, and overcoming all odds despite her disability to become a renowned artist and fulfilled mother is definitely a hero and inspiration to me. And it speaks of OUR time–a modern Venus de Milo with cropped hair, only it is not a goddess–it’s a real human being and she’s looks as equally as beautiful. And it speaks of what lies beyond–for it shows a hint of the future of art (which should be continually changing–or else it will be so unexciting, dry and boring)–becoming more encompassing and truthful, and setting an example (again and again as shown in the history of art) of what was once rejected is now embraced and celebrated.
♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦
Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor. I just love this one! I don’t need to explain why–just look at it! Well, ok, I’ll explain. When i was small, our thermometer broke, and the liquid mercury poured out of it and onto the floor. I was fascinated with the shiny silvery liquid metal–I remembered looking at it and yearning to pick it up (of course I couldn’t for i was warned that it was poisonous) to give it a closer look and to squish it with my bare fingers. It was a weird feeling but it didn’t go away–realizing my fascination with such came back when I saw pix of Cloud Gate. Amazing concept–and thanks to today’s technology–artworks like these are now possible for us to marvel at and enjoy. If you go to the blog, there is a picture of Cloud Gate taken early morning with no people surrounding it. It looks almost plain, lonely, and forlorn. However, when surrounded by people, it changes–seemingly alive and vibrant. It seems like it’s taking and absorbing energy from the people and the city. For me, this is a great example of what public art should be especially if it is commissioned by a city–it should be for the people of the city it is meant for and a serves as a celebration of the city itself. No wonder Chicagoans are proud of it–as they very well should be.
♥ ♦ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♦
Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial (aka The Nameless Library) by Rachel Whiteread. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Whiteread for a long time, so yes, I AM biased on this one. There is something about her art that speaks to me–her signature art of negative casting allows me to see what is not there but yet I feel it and sense it–and even if she lets me see it, I am not sure whether I welcome it for it is hard to accept and the discomfort of seeing it unnerves me and yet I have to face it because it is real and it IS there… I am talking gibberish here but that’s how I felt everytime I see her art–ghostly, haunting, harsh, and honest. Her other works especially the negative casting of the inside of a Victorian room (aptly named Ghost) were able to show what it was like–I mean really like, something that historians cannot possibly reveal to us in their books. Her works allow me to contemplate on the space that we move in, making me realizing that negative space carries much of time that we spent and absorbs the feelings and energies that we give out. The hollowness then becomes an entity to be reckoned with, and it is not pretty. That is why, just by looking at pictures of her Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, I feel the same sense of this indescribable sadness (and yes this is the one that moves me to the point of tears)–not just due to the theme but everything about it. As all controversial artworks–this too was not generally embraced and welcomed. Maybe some refuse to understand and accept its abstractness or appalled by the simplicity of it. For me, it is in the simple things that I see the the starkest images, hear the loudest voice, and feel the excruciating sensations. And Whiteread’s Memorial is one example of those simple things. I am looking forward to more of her future works. And as any biased and unabashed fan would say, I heart Whiteread!