Monday, March 14, 2005

Sometimes I sits by Mike Helbing

Another post in my ongoing series exploring the 2004-2005 Lincoln Park Community Art Initiative. See here, here, here, and here.

Sometimes I sits, View 1

This sculpture, which is located just north of St. Michael's church in Old Town, didn't work for me so much. I liked Mike Helbing's idea of a big steel chair with crazy stuff coming out of it, but the crazy stuff to me was only that, crazy.

I couldn't note any logic to the composition or a sense of an aesthetic whole or idea. To me, it looked like wild rebar attached to a chair, which is cool, but, in the end, not pleasing for very long.

Also, the color and texture of the stainless steel got lost against the bland concrete, which is not the artist's fault. The piece was placed there by the Lincoln Park Community Arts Initiative committee, and I think I know why.

Sometimes I sit, View 2

The site selection near St. Michael's church allowed the sculpture's strongest attribute -- the option to sit in it and investigate the view -- to shine. Unfortunately, I don't think that the sculpture's "tentacles" would have provided much to enjoy without the steeple and some decent clouds for background.

But, maybe that's the one wonder of this particular sculpture. It invites viewers to look beyond the rebar and see the ordinary as something new.

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