Nothing goes to waste around here. Years ago, my boss went to the High Museum in Atlanta to see an exhibition featuring part of the army of life-sized terra cotta Chinese soldiers unburied decades ago. He was kind enough to bring a small replica back to me. It sat by my computer at home for years. Mouse broke it finally, while picking through the space on the table, her mind focused on my keyboard. It was after the time she stayed at Ms. Ann’s Pet Retreat for three weeks and gained more than two pounds. She had nothing to do! She was unused to her voluptuous figure and it swayed beyond the predictable once and again.
Not to worry. The soldier’s head found a space within a composition almost immediately.
That’s the soldier, on the left of the female softball player. Her bat is missing; used that for something else. The soldier’s body lay with other decapitated souls and waited for the perfect assignment.
Having left the world of two dimensions in my pursuit of making sculpture (by training, I do textiles), the following piece came a little later. Named “Caryatids”, we see bird bodies defining the distance in space between the two window frames. They are also functional and needed for support.
Below is a better view of that space.
The soldier body got an assignment lately. He is purposeful and occupying space between two windows.
Above our hero lifts a window on what is left of his neck and supports the composition, along with the pin-up, who is also experiencing some integrity problems. Their two bodies define the distance between the front and back window, and make it stable.
But making art means one must keep many balls in the air. In the piece “Caryatids”, we can see that all occupants in the space between the windows are birds. That makes sense, In that piece, birds are the visual vocabulary.
What common denominator do we see in the visual elements above? Windows, red, curves in metal, glass, rust. And two figures. One Chinese and dating from 210 BCE, and a chalk redhead from 1946. They don’t have much in common other than they are perfect for spanning the needed space to make a window hover. What is the artist to do? Pick the right title. Let the viewer think they know the relationship between the two and then surprise them.
- A Change in Plan (leemalerich.wordpress.com)