Monday, January 28, 2013

Monumentality of Everyday Objects

The Flashlight (1981) by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Height: 38 ft.; Weight: 74,000 lbs.

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas. Being a Claes Oldenburg enthusiast, I absolutely had to visit a couple of his sculptures in the area.

First, I went to visit the Flashlight at UNLV. It's an interesting experience viewing this work, seeing it at a distance but not realizing the full height of the piece until you get right up to it. Approaching from the nearby stairway and ascending to its base level, the full monumental quality is impressive. It may be a giant flashlight, but the scale makes it transcend mere commonality; like a Roman column or Egyptian obelisk, this sculpture has a commanding presence.

Then, I headed over to the City Center to see the Typewriter Eraser (Scale X). Although not as imposing as the Flashlight, this piece was more humorous, more dynamic. Amid the towering hotels and bustling crowds of the Strip, the Typewriter Eraser seemed at home, colorful and whimsical.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X (1998-99) by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Las Vegas City Center
Height: 19 ft.; Weight: 4 tons
1 in an edition of 3

Fun stuff!!!

And here are a few vids:

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X at Olympic Park, Seattle

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

Anyways, let's wish Claes Oldenburg a Happy Birthday!!!


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