Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sarasota Season Of Sculpture 4

I set out this morning to see if I could get decent photos of all the sculptures in the Sarasota Season Of Sculpture 4 show. You've seen quite a few of these before, but certainly not all of them, and all of these pictures are new, since I took them today.

Starting from the southern-most end of the show and working my way north, this is Sorcerer's Gate by Bruce White. You saw another piece called Slice by the same sculptor here earlier this week.

Next up is Wedge by Albert Paley. This is one of the hard ones to shoot because it's so dark. Even in this well-lit shot, it's not much more than a dark shape with little definition.

The third sculpture is Christine Desiree's Pulse, which you've seen many, many, many (many, many, many, many, many) times here at the blog. Why? Because I built it, that's why. And I'm proud of it. I should give tours. In fact, I've spent plenty of time shooting pictures of it and talking to passers-by while doing so. You can see an earlier and similar piece by Christine here.

Number four is Happy Birthday Andy by Jack Dowd, a tribute of sorts to Andy Warhol.

Numero cinco is another piece you've seen before here at the blog. This is American Dream by Gillian Christy. In case you don't remember, we had to bring this piece to our shop and rebuild it after some vandals knocked it over. Thankfully there haven't been any other incidents with it since then.

This is the sixth stop on our photo tour, and it's Celebraciones by Leonardo Nierman. This piece is shiny stainless steel and it's another one that's tough to photograph. It's all reflections, so it's either too bright or too dark, never just exactly what you want it to be.

This picture sneaks in two pieces by the same artist. I'm sure that most casual visitors don't realize it's two different pieces of art since they look so natural together, but they are. The three guys in the tall hats in the rear are called Serenissima and the single seated figure is called Moonstruck. Both pieces are by Philip Jackson who was also the artist of this piece I brought you many moons ago. (I didn't credit it to him at the time because I really had no idea who did it.)

What number is this? Oh, yeah, eight. Eight is Zephyrus by Jorge Blanco. Mr. Blanco is from Venezuela, but for some reason is quite popular in this area. I've shared out other pieces by him at least twice on the blog, and I know of at least one other set in the area that I don't think I've ever shared.

Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine is called Wave2Me and is by Malcolm Robertson. They are having an art show at the Sarasota Art Center just down the road from bayfront show, and it features other works by artists featured in this show. This fellow had some really neat stuff in that show, like pieces designed to move in the wind and sway like living creatures, all with a nautical theme.

Here we have La Devine Proportion by Jean-Francoise Buisson. This one I've shared out before in a much more interesting picture. You've got to get close to this one to see all of the details. I promise I'll get a post up sometime of all the little bits that really make this one interesting. Well, I may leave out the naughty bits, since this is a G-rated blog.

Here is another one of the really hard to photograph pieces. It's called Cross Roads and it's by James Brenner. This is a popular piece because you can walk through it. I've got some neat pictures taken from the inside that I need to share with you sometime. Just for the record, I don't actually know the name and artist of all these sculptures off the tip of my head. I've got to keep referring back to the cheat sheet on the Sarasota Season Of Sculpture website.

Autumn Rhythm #20 by Rob Lorenson makes for an even dozen sculptures so far. When the show first opened, they published conceptual drawings of all the artworks in the local paper, and in those renderings, this piece was bright red. I don't know what happened to change this piece from red to shiny stainless steel, but it's neat either way.

Hold on, I lost my place for a second... OK, this is Pamplona 2006 by DeWitt Godfrey. I'm told that this piece was built on the spot in order to fit it into the space allotted. I wish I'd known that beforehand, I would have tried to get some in-process pictures. This one is popular with the kiddies because they can walk through it and climb on it. Well, you aren't supposed to climb on it, but people do. Look close and you'll see it's got three or four people on it in my picture. The pieces at the south end all have signs saying 'Do Not Climb' but for some reason they don't have those at this end of the exhibit.

Here's The Music Box by Jerolyn Bahm-Colombik. When this piece first got put in place, there was a crank on the left side. You turned the crank and the figure at the top spun around. I'm not sure if it played music or not, but with a name like The Music Box, you sort of think it would. By the time I got the chance to get up close to it, the crank had been removed and a plate installed over the hole. I guess they had problems with it or something.

This is called Tequesta I and it's by Horst Kohlem. The frame of this one always makes me think of some parts we build at work.

Bar none, these are the hardest pieces in the whole show to get pictures of. They're dark stone, and they're underneath a large oak tree. There is never any direct sunlight on them, and there is nothing dark anywhere around them to make into a background. So every picture I take winds up either too dark to see the color of the stones, or the background is too bright to let you focus on the foreground. But I thought this one finally came out good enough to share. This is (these are?) Pudding 2 by Jon Krawczyk.

These two pyramids were the last sculptures to be installed. They had to come over from Switzerland, but they were worth the wait. You see so few pyramids outside of Egypt and Mexico. Oh, and Cleveland. These are called Asphalt Art and are by Heinz Aeschlimann. I don't think they are really made of asphalt, but it looks sorta like it. They've got glass embedded in them, too, so they sort of sparkle in the sun. The small white streaks on the left one are actually bird poop. I don't know who's in charge of keeping these things clean, but I guess I could find out.

Tin Man by Andrew Arvantes is pretty imposing when you're laying on your back shooting up into the sky. Actually, it's pretty impressive even at normal eye level.

The official guide to the sculptures has this piece switched with the next one. But I don't think you're going to confuse the two. You'd have a hard time taking a rest break on the next one, but with a name like Bench #9, you know this is going to be a nice place to stop and take a load off. The artist is Barry Hehemann. Every time I walk by this one, I actually see people sitting on it. Who says art doesn't serve a purpose?

Obviously not a bench, this is Ominous Ikon Series #69 by Dennis Kowal. I suspect it was moved to this spot because it looks so good up against the trees. It also looks cool at night with all the flood lights on it. I don't think I've shared any of those pictures with you yet, but I'll get to it someday...

From the same artist that brought you Unconditional Surrender last year, this is Comprehension by Seward Johnson. Look close because it's not just a giant tooth. Those two figures to the right of the tooth are also part of the piece, as is the small bench further to the right. Many of the people I've talked to who haven't actually stopped and looked at this sculpture don't realize that the tooth isn't the extent of the artwork.

Towering over every other piece in the exhibit is this 75-foot set of pick-up sticks called Star Pointer by John Henry. It's big, and it's red. What more can I say? (Those of you out there who went to UF will notice a resemblance between this piece and the yellow french fries near the CIS Library on campus. Well, that one is called Alachua and it's by the same artist.)

You've seen this one before, in the dark, but here it is in the light of day. This is Dance by Dustin Shuler. Yes, those are real cars. And the longer they are up there, the worse they look. People being people, little bits are disappearing, like hubcaps and name badges. They've even been tagged with graffiti a couple of times. But at least people are noticing them. Art should be a little provocative, I suppose.

Finally, we've reached the end of the show. This piece is actually on display at the Ringling Museum of Art, down the street a mile or so from the rest of the exhibit. I guess they wanted to spread the love a little, and try to get a little bit of cultural exchange between the two venues. You saw this guy still in his shipping crate a few weeks ago, and now you get to see him in his fully installed glory. This piece is entitled Louis Armstrong and he's by Niki De Saint Phalle. First time I saw this guy in that crate, I knew it had to be Louis Armstrong. Who else could it be?

Well, that's all of them. 24 pieces in all. Hope you enjoyed the little tour. I know I enjoyed taking all the pictures. be sure you get out there and see all these in person if you can. They're much more impressive that way.

Cranes And Their Kin

A buddy of mine at work has been trying to get me to come by his house for a while. He said there was a big nest across the street and two sandhill cranes were tending it. I finally got the chance to go by there today, but no one was home. I wandered down the street on my own, but I never did find the nest. But I reckon it was too late anyway, because what I found was a mommy and daddy sandhill crane along with two little chicks. I don't know how old they are, but they can't be more than a week or two. I figured you'd enjoy seeing these little folks as they followed mommy and daddy around.

It's been several years since I've seen any baby sandhills. And last time I photographed them, it was raining...

Angel In Action

I spent a few minutes wandering around the grounds of the Ringling Museum this morning, shooting this and that. I got this shot of one of their newer sculptures and thought it was pretty good. I need to look up the artist info, but I remember it's a Mexican sculptor. I don't know what's up with the missing arm and the back of her head. That's not the worst of it, though. You can't see it in this picture, but on the front side, there is a small pair of doors in her chest right above her breasts. Don't quite understand that, but it's art...

One Day In March

There's only the one day of March in this week, so I had to get this picture up quick so you'd have a little time to enjoy it. I caught this great blue heron on the Casey Key side of the Venice Inlet. He was flying back and forth looking for handouts for fishermen, and I just happened to catch him as he came in for a landing a few feet from me. Pretty impressive shot of a pretty impressive bird.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I shot this piece a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to post anything to the blog before now. I actually shot this at the request of the artist, who said he didn't have any good night shots of the piece. It's called Slice and the artist is Bruce White. (I'd shot his work before, but didn't know it. I recognized several of the pieces I'd seen on his website.) He had been shown some of the pictures I took of Pulse and thought I might be able to do a good job. It was a little tough to shoot because it's in a small courtyard that's a deep canyon between two halves of the surrounding building. These first shots give you a little bit of a sense of where the piece is.

You can see how it's sandwiched in between two three-story walls in the shot above, and from the street you can barely see the piece because of a large lintel emblazoned with the name of the building. In fact, I'd driven by this dozens of times in Sarasota, and never noticed it, even though it is visible from the street. So I had to find a way to get a picture that included the art and the location, while keeping the two separate and distinct. For that, I had to get a short lens. That allowed me to fit everything into a single picture.

I must say that I was pretty happy with the results of my photoshoot. Once the sun went down and the interior lights on the piece became more visible, I started to get some amazing shots.

Something about that one window being lit sort of appealed to me in this picture above.

Once it got really dark, the light escaping the cutouts was my only source of illumination. It's a great effect.

I'm always fascinated with the effects you can create by using a zoom lens and a long exposure. Some of these pictures are just incredible. They're abstract, but they're firmly rooted in something real.

Cool, man, cool!

The End Of February

Late, late, late, late, late posting this week, sorry. Been busy doing nothing important all week, so I don't know why I've not gotten this up before now. Nice little detail here of a bird of paradise tree. There's also a bird of paradise bush, that has orange and blue blossoms, but this one has white and blue flowers. Not that there are any visible in this shot, but trust me... I liked the vertical composition on this for some reason, and it's got some nice color in it, too. Those of you who live in colder climes have probably never seen one of these. They're a flat tree, with all the leaves growing straight out from the trunk to the left and right. Kinda weird, but neat.