Interview Subject: Chris
Object in Question: Sculpture Turntable
We’re back! A week late, but we’ve managed. Thanks very much for your patience – we hope you’ve enjoyed our interim posts while the 500 Hammers project has been at rest.
We return with a very interesting challenge, both simple and charmingly complex. A friend of ours, Chris, recently asked us to develop something that would help him to display a heavy metal sculpture he keeps in his living room.
What I find really remarkable here is that Chris, in all the years I’ve known him, as never struck me as a sculpture person. And yet, when I asked him what possessed him to buy this one particular piece of artwork I found an entirely different side to him, unexpected and deeply fascinating. It’s enthralling to see how each individual’s taste speaks to the undertones and deep currents of personality that we so rarely have a chance to see in a casual setting.
Without further ado, here are Chris’s wonderful answers to my questions:
Sooooo, tell us a bit about yourself?
Couldn’t be a little more broad? Well, first of all, I’m not from around here. Originally. Like so many young New Yorkers I came from elsewhere, or in my case the suburbs of Seattle. It’s a place where season changes are marked by a few degrees in daytime temperature. It’s also a stunningly beautiful place with fantastic views. And mountains! That said, I don’t really miss it too much – a city like New York has an entirely different kind of beauty to offer. As for myself, I’d describe as a practical man, an unapologetic kinkster with aspirations to enjoy life as much as possible. These two things aren’t necessarily related, but somehow often are.
You’ve got something very specific in mind for us to make – what is it?
Oh, you’ve probably heard this story before: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, discovers that girl fits perfectly in a recessed niche in the wall of his apartment. Where the story differs from the archetype is that this girl is a 77-lb steel sculpture of reclaimed auto parts and sheet metal. What I need is a turntable to display the statue upon, so I can show every angle of this excellent piece of art from the niche without an upper body workout.
The Lady in question…Might I just say, she is even more stunning in person.
More questions! Why this particular piece of artwork? What drew you to it in an aesthetic sense?
You know what medium I usually go for? Architecture. When it’s New York you’re talking about, there’s plenty of that to enjoy, but only so much of it can fit in your apartment. One of the first things I thought about the statue is that it’s a human body, rendered as architecture. There’s structural steel rods where bones and tendons should be, pistons and coils in the place of muscles. It doesn’t move, and can’t, but it looks as though it should. The figure itself is a torso apparently caught in the midst of an athletic feat, hips contrapposto, left arm reaching, striving toward…something. It’s not a passive piece of art – I appreciate that. It’s also a robot girl. That’s awesome too.
How’d you stumble upon it?
Half my extended family these days lives in Vancouver B.C., so come Christmastime that’s where I am. In Vancouver there’s a fascinating arts center & public market by the waterfront from the days before the city embraced crass commercialism. It’s called Granville Island and is a peninsula and not in fact an island of any kind. Here and there are a variety of garishly colored garages converted into studios and tiny art galleries. I walked by a particularly glaring red building and saw just a flash of brushed steel through dusty glass. Once I set eyes on this particular statue through the window I must have been immediately hooked, because I waited around for half an hour for the curator to return and unlock the door. At that point it was either this or a ceiling-mounted 90-lb steel shark with articulating jaw. Surprisingly, it actually wasn’t a hard decision. The artist’s name is Cory Fuhr, and if you’re ever in Vancouver B.C. you might be able to find his work. It’s worth it.
You don’t collect a lot of art in general – how do you see it fitting into your life? Is it important, a side hobby, an afterthought, etc?
No, I don’t collect a lot of art. Before I found this sculpture I wouldn’t even have thought it was possible to for art to exist that I had to possess. I thought of such personally selected art as something that appealed to one’s sense of aesthetics, but chosen primarily in order to fill a an empty wall-space or to impress guests. This piece does those things just fine, thanks, but I would still want to own it if I had to keep it in a deserted basement. It’s very important. It’s made me think there must be other art out there I’d have a similar emotional experience with, things I felt I could no longer live without. Maybe when I get a bigger apartment. New York, you know.
Chris, thank you for sharing this little insight into the way that this remarkable piece has become a part of your life. We look forward to helping you display it in all its proper glory!