The Only Truth Is Creation

There is neither painting, nor sculpture, nor music, nor poetry. The only truth is creation.
—-Umberto Boccioni

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, by Umberto Boccioni, Cole and Blackburn, Dallas, Texas

I like sculpture. Though I am not picky – I especially like a certain flavor of sculpture. I don’t know what it is called, but I know it when I see it – modern, yet semi-representational, it has to have a certain strength and a feeling of movement.

One example is The Drummer in The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art.

The Drummer, Michael Sandle

Another is, arguably my favorite sculpture, Large Horse, by Duchamp-Villion.

Horse by Raymond Duchamp-Villon

Large Horse by Raymond Duchamp-Villon

So, that is not the only thing I like, but it is something that I always like.

One day, a while back, I was on a bike ride from downtown through Uptown, Dallas. I was with a fairly large group, riding downhill, riding fast, when out of the corner of my eye I caught an unexpected glimpse of a sculpture. A sculpture I liked. In a flash, it was gone. I didn’t even remember the street I was on – only the general part of town I was in. It took a long session of exploring with Google Maps until I found the sculpture at the corner of Blackburn and Cole.

Today I had to drive Nick down into Uptown to pick up his car and on the way out I stopped and took a couple of photographs. Then I had a web search to find the sculpture – it’s a famous one, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni. It’s a Futurist sculpture – with a well-known version in The Museum of Art, New York.

From the museum website:

Umberto Boccioni
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
1913 (cast 1931)

Boccioni, who sought to infuse art with dynamism and energy, exclaimed, “Let us fling open the figure and let it incorporate within itself whatever may surround it.” Breaking with the tradition of self-contained sculpture, Boccioni opens up the silhouette of this marching figure, who forges ahead as if carved by forces such as wind and speed. While born of Futurist aspirations, it also remains evocative of an ancient statue: the wind-swept, striding Victory of Samothrace in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

I have no idea how this cast (or reproduction) came to be placed in front of a high-end apartment complex in Uptown, Dallas. It’s cool, though I seem to be the only person aware of it.

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, by Umberto Boccioni, Cole and Blackburn, Dallas, Texas

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Iron And Coke, And Chromium Steel

“Well we’re waiting here in Allentown,
For the Pennsylvania we never found,
For the promises our teachers gave,
If we worked hard,
If we behaved…
So the graduations hang on the wall,
But they never really helped us at all,
No they never taught us what was real,
Iron and coke,
And chromium steel,
And we’re waiting here in Allentown…
But they’ve taken all the coal from the ground,
And the union people crawled away…”
― Billy Joel

‘Tatlin’s Sentinel’ by John Henry, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

Change Is Only Possible Through Movement

“Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.”
― Aldous Huxley, The Art of Seeing

Octet
Lin Emery, Louisiana, 2014, Polished Aluminum
Poydras Street, New Orleans

In the City of New Orleans there is a fantastic arrangement of sculpture along Poydras Street. Walking down and back from my son’s apartment to the Running of the Bulls I took photos of a few of them that I’ll share with you.

“My sculpture is kinetic, meaning that it moves. The elements are derived from nature, and I borrow natural elements — wind, water, magnets — to set them in motion. The rhythms are influenced by infinite variables: the points of balance, the normal frequency of each form, the interruption of the counterpoise. I juggle, juxtapose, and adjust to achieve the dance or pantomime that I want. Then the sculpture takes over and invents a fillip of its own.”
—-Lin Emery

Locked in What Cage

“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
― Ray Bradbury

Unnamed Sculpture
Ed Carpenter, Richardson, Texas

Unnamed Sculpture
Ed Carpenter, Richardson, Texas

Workers installing glass bits,
Unnamed Sculpture
Ed Carpenter, Richardson, Texas

Richardson, where I live, has an ambitious trail that bifurcates the city from North to South roughly along Highway 75 and the DART Red line – the Central Trail. However, one key spot near the north end of the trail has been pretty much useless for over a year due to all the construction at Alma and Greenville. Now all of that is headed into the home stretch (until something new pops up) and now, something really new is growing up out of the ground.

At first, most folks assumed it was a cell phone tower or other piece of infrastructure – but it actually is a huge work of art.

From the city’s description:
An iconic art piece celebrating the history of the technology in Richardson will be installed late this summer just south of the Eastside development. The site at Greenville and Alma was specifically selected for a unique public art opportunity since it is a highly visible location, located at the center of the community and Telecom Corridor® area and is in close proximity to the Central Trail for pedestrians to enjoy. This public art installation corresponds to the goals set for the City’s Public Art Master Plan adopted in 2015.

….

The art piece features a lattice of crossing diagonal stainless steel cables on a galvanized carbon steel main structure supporting laminated dichroic glass elements. The glass elements suggest abstract ones and zeros, the basic building blocks of all things digital, which the artist and committee felt was fitting for a city with a high-tech identity.

At first, I thought it looked like a giant frisbee golf goal. Now, I realize it looks more like the world’s largest set of tomato cages.

An now the vines are starting to climb up. Workers are out on a lift in the late summer stifling heat installing strings of colorful glass over the armature. I have no idea how much they will hang up – what it will look like when it is finished. At that point they will put in some landscaping (hopefully, a nice rest stop with some benches, shade, and water along the Central Trail). Eventually, all will be revealed, including the sculpture’s name.

We’ll see – if you are interested, stay tuned.

A Trance Bepopulate With Chimeras

The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning.

The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Gridman 3
Stephen Daly
2007 Sandblasted Aluminum
Dallas, Texas

The Key and Guardian of the Gate

“Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.”
― H.P. Lovecraft

The Guardian
Horton Humble
2017 Louisiana, Welded Steel
Poydras Street

In the City of New Orleans there is a fantastic arrangement of sculpture along Poydras Street. Walking down and back from my son’s apartment to the Running of the Bulls I took photos of a few of them that I’ll share with you.

The Guardian is a giant figure, a hybrid of a man and a bird, standing for the inhabitants of a great city. It represents a creature activated by fear capable to rise up each time humanity doubts its own powers to overcome injustice and inhumanity.
—Horton Humble

Across Poydras and down a few doors from my son’s apartment is the Le Pavillon Hotel – originally named the Denechaud, then for generations was the De Soto Hotel. – which boasts an ornate entrance with huge classical statues flanked by massive Corinthian columns. I loved the contrast with the modern sculptures scattered along the median of Poydras.

From my son’s apartment pool, look up, I could see the bleached white back of a statue on a wall against the sheer drop down to the street. I found out this was a sculpture at the Le Pavillon’s pool. I was oddly fascinated by this – and one day want to visit.

The pool at Le Pavillon, from TripAdvisor. You can see the sculptures against the wall. The blue-gray building with vertical windows behind and to the left is my son’s apartment building.

The Guardian
Poydras Street
New Orleans

Black Butterfly

“Hundreds of butterflies flitted in and out of sight like short-lived punctuation marks in a stream of consciousness without beginning or end.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Black Butterfly
John T. Scott, Aluminum, 1996
Poydras Street, New Orleans

In the City of New Orleans there is a fantastic arrangement of sculpture along Poydras Street. Walking down and back from my son’s apartment to the Running of the Bulls I took photos of a few of them that I’ll share with you.

“Black Butterfly” is an abstract aluminum sculpture completed four years after John T. Scott was awarded the MacArthur Genius Award. Scott’s work frequently displayed themes related to African-American life, particularly the rich Afro-Caribbean culture and musical heritage of New Orleans. See this sculpture on Poydras Street at O’Keefe.