Clouds of Cups

By: pbcmedia

Nov 13 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Art, Artists, Creativity, Personal, Photography, Sculpture

1 Comment

Focal Length:85mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

It’s a long story.

This began as a vertical photo of pale yellow past peak autumn leaves, slightly out of focus because my arm dropped slightly while holding the camera and with a slow shutter speed, streaks of yellow appeared to stain the image. (You can see original image on my daily gallery: Gallery)

But, I went to a new exhibit yesterday at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston featuring Tara Donovan (Donovan slideshow) sculptures and the next day I am not content with the ordinary in its own form and function.  Color fields are my magnetic muse.  If I had a default position as a human being, I’d be a color field I feel quite sure.

I told the guard, and there are many guards in a Tara Donovan exhibit because you simply want to touch everything, and touching would be its demise, as most are held in shape only by friction and gravity.

So, I said to the guard who smiled wanly, “You won’t mind if I stay the night, will you?”

I suspect they are hearing some unusual responses to Ms. Donovan’s work.  She recently received one of those genius grants, MacArthur Grants, where an artist, a doctor, a scientist, a teacher is just called up one day in the Fall and told he/she has just won a half a million dollars and can do anything they want with it.  Thank you and goodbye.  No recipient has any idea they are even on the list to even be considered.

It’s an award perfectly suited for Tara Donovan.  It is an award, yes, something we are familiar with…Academy awards, Emmy awards, Tony awards..but it is an award like no other.

She uses every day materials we are familiar with, too: toothpicks, straws, paper plates, common pins, styrofoam cups and she collects them in large quantities that transform them in and of themselves but when put together and sculpted by the artist, they transcend their form and function and enter a magical world of natural forms made with unexpected, unlikely manufactured products that seem profoundly the right choice.

She reports that her famous cube of toothpicks came about because she accidentally dropped a large box of toothpicks to the floor and noticed they had adhered to the corners of the box.  Her idea?  She went out and ultimately bought and dropped one million toothpicks.

One wondered after seeing a ceiling sculpture of Styrofoam cups that perhaps the clouds outside the museum covering the inside Boston Channel and Logan airport and the Mystic River Bridge–well, one wondered truly, maybe they were were made of cups, too.  You almost make a note to examine them properly when you leave.

So, it is no wonder that when an accident produced an image this morning, I simply decided to make it into something else.

No guards necessary.

©Pat Coakley 2008


One comment on “Clouds of Cups”

  1. I am in Israel at the moment. And my Hebrew is very mediumish. Google comes up as a page in Hebrew here though, even if you type in your browsers address bar and not – nice of them to pretend they know what you want, no?
    Because of your lovely introductions to Tara Donovan, William Egglestone and many others, I learned, that you have to click on the second word you cant read in the right top corner of your Hebrewnised Google page to get pictures of the search term you entered.
    Tara Donovan – well she seems to do really some amazing things I hope to see soon in the Pinakothek der Moderne or some other museum a bit closer to me!
    Thanks, Pat!

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