Rag and Bone

Rag and Bone

I am highly ambivalent (to say the very least) about the majority of free-standing public sculpture but this humble beauty just catches the attention and makes you ponder. It is unusually powerful stuff in a city where the majority of public art thoroughly deserves its site.

Rag and Bone (Hemlös Räv) is a sculpture in Stockholm by English artist Laura Ford. After consultation with the people of Stockholm it was decided to place this exquisite little bronze right next to the government buildings. Can you imagine such a thing in Downing Street or Capitol Hill? It is a constant reminder to the Swedish people in power that their work is incomplete. Begging was historically a rare sight in Sweden but sadly it becoming more common today.

Swedish Public Sculpture

Non-Violence

This is a classic piece of public sculpture we came across walking through the cold winter streets of Gothenburg, one of many casts around the world and one of ten in Sweden. It is called Non-Violence by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd and has become a famous symbol of the peace movement. Apparently Carl was deeply affected by the murders of John Lennon and the drummer Bob Crane. I can testify that as a tender young person I was deeply disturbed by the premature death of Lennon and took the day of school because I was too depressed to go in. Since then I have sometimes wondered if he was just too much of an irritant to the global establishment. An even more depressing thought...

Två Myror
Två Myror (Two ants), 2014, bronze, 9 m width 2.5 m, height of 12m.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard, see how she's doing and be wise" Proverbs 6: 6

Again, I can't say I am ordinarily fond of giant sculptures of animals but these ants by Torgny Larsson are exceptional in concept and execution.

This from the artist:

"I wanted to not only remove the company logo to a three-dimensionally portrayed little story but also pull up the ants' world to the human scale and bring the design to the scientific careful studies of the red forest ant, Formica rufa.
In the preface to the book "ants life," published in 1910, the author wrote Gottfrid Adlerz about "Many fanciful stories can be written about the ants but none are as stunning as the real study of the ants 'life'."

Två Myror (detail)

The Quintessence of Dust

Quintessence of Dust, 2014

 

Glasgow street art can be very intriguing and slightly odd. This artist recurs in various locations always featuring the pixellated head and enigmatic phrases.

"What piece of work is a man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving
 how express and admirable, in action how like an Angel,
 in apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals – and yet to me, what is
 this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me –
 nor Woman neither, though by your smiling you seem
 to say so.” (Hamlet, Act II Scene ii)

There is a melancholic aspect to the design and the quote, taken out of context, has a wonderfully confusing aspect.

Chinese Panda Stencil

Chinese Panda, 2013

A very bold stencil of a panda which I thought was applied by a highly skilled Chinese artist appeared one day in a Glasgow back street. It turns out to be the work of the celebrated local artist Klingatron. I love the scale and technique, large areas of even colour with incredible detail are layered with the top coat in white which is risky since it would need to block out lots of dark grey below. It's an ambitious job which leaves me wondering how the stencils were created and held in place.

Discover Glasgow

#mixeverything

I love this poster from the Gunnersbury area in London. It really messes with my head but I guess it helps if you are old enough to know who  the pictures represent. I suppose it is also necessary to know the ridiculous new artists named in the text. The whole thing then becomes a value comparison for the generations. Which is worse, text or image? 

Lennon and Streisand obviously don't fit because of their huge artistic integrity!