|Hello, Girls (1964) by Alexander Calder|
I'm a bit surprised and amused that Google decided to dedicate their doodle to celebrating the 113th birth date of the sculptor Alexander Calder. He's not exactly a household name nor was he an incredible innovator that decidedly improved the human condition nor was his work accepted into mainstream popular culture. But, if Pac-Man can get a Google nod, then why can't Calder?
Personally. my feelings about Calder have gone from scorn to light-hearted acceptance. When I was in college, I would walk past Calder's Gallows and Lollipops on a nearly daily basis. I freakin' hated it! It was a garish eyesore! However, looking back at my animosity, I realize that my dislike for the work was how it stood out from its surroundings, not any intrinsic quality. It's actually an interesting work of art.
|Gallows and Lollipops (1960) by Alexander Calder|
I've seen many other Calder pieces at numerous museums over the years, but my feelings towards him changed relatively recently. I was hanging out in the LACMA sculpture garden with a friend, sitting by Hello, Girls. The day was mild and pleasant. I was in a laid back mood. And I took notice of the complex and enchanting movements of the sculpture, reflecting in the water and framed by palm trees above. It was a surprisingly beautiful moment, kind of transcendent.
I made a mental apology to Calder for my years of strongly expressed disdain. I figure that if you can create an artwork that even just for a passing instant makes the viewer stop and fully experience the moment, then you've achieved the goal of your artistry.
|Button Flower (1959) by Alexander Calder|
As mentioned above, during my "hater" period, I saw many of Calder's works. Maybe I'll go back and revisit them. I can at least do the "Los Angeles Calder Quest". Perhaps. . .
Here's a cool vid of Hello, Girls:
This is a vid in which you can see Gallows and Lollipops frequently in the background. Observe how it clashes with the surroundings.
And here's Four Arches:
So, here's to Alexander Calder's 113th birth date. May his works be appreciated and cherished.
Here's Alexander Calder's Wikipedia page.