Saturday, December 14, 2013

A diver turned into a 13-foot tall bronze: "How I Made The Golden Mean Sculpture" by Carole Feuerman



Some of the greatest masters in history, Vermeer, Caravaggio, and even Rembrandt traced their subjects using prisms and mirrors to cast reflections onto their canvases so as to get an exact replica of what to paint. If you want to see a reference to back up this statement please see this snippet from the movie Tim's Vermeer: [Link]

This 13-foot tall bronze by Carole Feuerman is extraordinarily ambitious and I commend her for sharing the process she used for producing this artwork. In fact, this piece took over 8,000-hours and was quite educational for me to watch. Now with that out of the way I have to say that the final result was simply disappointing.

Metal and stone are quite beautiful unto themselves but the painting or PVD coating of this bronze (unclear how she coated it all in black) is just simply overwrought with racial undertones. To be more clear, what disturbs me is that she put a white athlete into "black face"and then "pimped him out" with a gold-plated cap invoking cultural images of "ghetto fab."

She openly states that her intention was to illustrate something about the athleticism and grace but to this viewer she only celebrated the diver's skin tone and vanity.

Why not use a diver of African descent and why the gold plated cap? It just looks so garish and crass and erases the purpose of the composition. Since gold is such a rare earth element the cap becomes a de facto focal point and for this viewer...(not to beat a dead horse but since the horse is dead anyway)... it conjures up all sorts of "hip-hop clich├ęs" that just makes me want to take the palm of my hand and place it right into my face.

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