October 11, 2014

Tony Cragg
Tony Cragg

I love this sculpture and I will hereby try to say why.

It is made from found objects, from detritus.  Nope, that’s not why.  I’ve seen other sculptures like this and they had no appeal.

The materials are intrinsically ugly but they are beautiful collectively.  Or at least, they are mundane.  And dirty.  And broken-down.  And ragged…but the collection is a balancing act.  It defies gravity.  Well, sort of.

There is a huge variety of texture and a rhythm to the repeating shapes.  Yep, that’s more like it.

It has a sense of humor with underlying seriousness.  How do we as a culture create so much junk?  And where were all these materials before they were junk?  And what happened to make them junk?  Could we prevent that?  And how did he choose these materials?  Where did he get them?  What ones did he NOT choose?

Ah, it asks important questions.  I like art that challenges me.

But what makes it so compelling?  I looked at it, walked around it, talked with some art teachers about it, pondered it, wished I could poke it — for at least 30 minutes, and I wasn’t done.

Yes,  when the art is really strong, you are never done looking.  There’s always more to see.

How many times did the artist try something like this before coming up with this one?  Are there other versions?  Now I have to do some research…

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