Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jerry Williams - The Balancing Act

In a context where gay rights are challenged in so many countries these days, today is a sculpture that was created in a similar context in a smaller town of the North West of USA, Springfield, in Oregon, during the mid 1990's by Jerry Williams. The sculpture is called 'The Balancing Act'. 

Several anti-gays laws were passed by the City Council, allowing discrimination on the work place etc. (See Sources, under Oregon Citizens Alliance). Below are some quotes from the text he sent me.

''The Oregon Legislature however prohibited such legislation several months later'' said the sculptor, who added ''Simultaneously, the city of Springfield was seeking a public work for the entrance to its City Hall and Public Library.  They did not specify the subject of the public art that would occupy a plaza next to the entrance stairway."

"My sculpture shown below won their art committee selection based on its whimsey of a gymnast doing a one handstand on the back of a Rhinoceros. The gymnast depicted in the statue is a gay man. The rhinoceros emerging out of the basalt is ignorance, short sightedness, and anger.The owl perched on the toe of the  gymnast is wisdom, and spirit. not unlike the owl in the ancient Greek Parthenon sitting on the shoulder of Athena."

'' The city of Springfield loves that sculpture,  honoring it as the vector for flowers after the massacre at Thurston High School in the late 90s. It is a signature icon on Springfield Art Walk, and images of it printed on brochures."

Jerry Williams website
Jerry Williams interview about his sculpture

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Paul Landowski - The Sons of Cain

Paul Landowski, after a strong interest in philosophy and play writing, started his art studies & career. He took portrait drawing classes, became an anatomy and nude expert, going regularly to the School of Medicine to observe body dissections! He also had a passion for boxing.

His biography is very interesting, I suggest you check it in details (see Sources), to learn more about his various interests, his ambitious project 'Le Temple de l'Homme', his writings, his humanistic concerns, his prizes and honors he got already at a young age, etc. You can also see his numerous sculptures done in many countries and continents (China, Brasil, ...). He died at 85, in his house, in March 1961.

We will post some of his sculptures in this blog. Today is the large bronze group called the Sons of Cain, achieved in 1906. Located in Paris, currently visible at the Jardins des Tuileries. He was inspired by a trip to Tunisia done in 1903, during which he saw three young tunisians marching together, like brothers.

On the left is the sheperd, Jabel, who looks toward the horizon, in the middle is the poet, Jubal, playing on his harp made of a bull head crane, and on the right is Tubal Cain, the blacksmith who protects the fire with his hand. According to the sculptor (see his Journal), it represents the various strengths : physical, thinking, and working.

Paul Landowski

Paul Landowski Journal