Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What I learned at Storm King: Things are not always as they appear.

A visit to Storm King borders on the magical.  That's because objects that appear to be one thing, may surprise you. Here are a few of the ways Storm King delivers the unexpected.

Giant hand-hewn boulders look like they were created for a game of marbles between a couple of trolls, particularly as they sit silently in the forest.  But really, they're hollow and constructed of terracotta, cement, and wire.

Not all picket fences are created equal. Alyson Shotz's Mirror Fence (2003/2010, acrylic, wood, aluminum, stainless steel) is enchanting.  It's like something that would surround the yard of a disco-addicted gay couple.  But it's more enchanting than that.  Sometimes it almost disappears into the landscape. And it gets even better when nature interacts with it.

As a side note, Shotz had another work on view at Storm King.  This is Viewing Scope (2006, mirror polished stainless steel tubes, glass lenses, steel). It provided a striking way to reconsider the environment.

Storm King is a marvel of untouched nature married with the man made.  At least that's what we're supposed to believe.  But as you learn more about the place you discover that mountains have been moved, vistas revised, and mother nature tamed to create the picture perfect place for each work of art.  Sometimes, that attention to detail pays off in whimsical ways.  As you rode around the corner on one of the bike paths, you came across this brilliant scene of a perfect white square framing nature.

But if you got off your bike to interact with the sculpture, you quickly realized that the creators of Storm King wanted you to experience the work in different ways and that the landscape had been redesigned to position the artwork perfectly.  Here's a close-up view of the sculpture.

1 comment:

  1. I want the mirror fence for a yard of my very own! Very cool.