I love Alexander Calder. And I love all of his forms…his tools…his media. I just think his work is flat-out brilliant in a whimsically geometric way. And for some reason, I tend to believe that unlike me in my present state, Calder did not use narcotics.
I loved the Calder-Miro show years ago and I stumbled upon, literally by accident, the Calder Portraits show several months ago in Washington. As a collector of caricature, I was flummoxed, delightfully floored by what I saw. The brilliance dealt the first blow but then I was bitch-slapped by the mechanics—the technique of bending wire. Just amazing.
I could posit several examples to support my amazement with the Calder Portraits but for now; I’ll let Babe Ruth stand as exhibit number one.
I love the child in Calder and I’ve loved having LFG as my co-conspirator and giggly cohort in reliving my childhood during these last ten years. I can’t speak for others but for me, living amidst this ever so complex world, I sometimes need a huge ass dose of whimsy. And Calder is a great dealer in such goods. Look at the creative clutter in his studio. I've found a new excuse for my mess.
Just realized that the three previous paragraphs begin with “I love(d)”. That ain’t that bad is it? LFG and I got great Christmas presents this year and I’m gonna do a post on our loot. But I wanted to tell a story about what might be the best gift I received. I got a book about Calder’sCircus—a child’s book. And no it wasn’t intended for LFG. It was specifically meant for me. And I love it.
Calder’s genius is manifest in all of his media. But for me, there’s nothing better than seeing it emerge through the absolutely crazy characters in his Circus.
The mechanics and the art appeal to me in etchings and drypoints. Same goes for my late 19th century toy soldiers. Technology and art…left and right brain dialectics. Calder pulls every dialectic lever with his Circus. It’s all there man!
I’d pay serious money to hang out with Calder and ask him about his Circus…what motivated him…where the ideas came from…did he ever get frustrated and trash a prototype in disgust…did he chain smoke cigs sometimes while bending wires and swathing these little contrivances…how did he know when he got one “right”?
“Human Salvation Lies in the Hands of the Creatively Maladjusted” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indeed Dr. King. Indeed.
Onward…with Oxycontin and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. One less tooth and an implant pending.
ADG II and LFG—In South Carolina