Friday, 15 July 2011

Wirey Circus

"My fan mail is enormous. Everyone is under six."                                                        
  Alexander Calder

“Our generation is very smart”. My daughters have told me n number of times whenever I admire their skills and awareness. I do agree with them and the process of evolution of human mind.
But what happens when something goes wrong?
“You know it’s the fault of our genes” comes the reply with lightening speed.
Why are they not ready to credit their genes for their better skills?
A generation gap has to be maintained for the sake of argument.
But I am sure Alexander Sandy Calder must have thanked his grandfather and father for providing him with the genome of a super talented artist. What if he tried to deviate from the family occupation? In fact, his deviation brought another dimension to his artistic skills: application of physics in his abstract kinetic sculptures with moving parts. According to Calder, who was a qualified engineer, to an engineer good enough means perfect. With an artist there is no such thing as perfect.

Mobile, circus, wire, jewelry and physics associated with an artist! Amazing effects! That’s how we can describe Alexander Calder, who changed the course of modern art. Calder tried to bring art in common man’s life by making jewelry with wires. Maybe he had this futuristic idea of high gold price and popularity of funky and chunky jewelry among young generation!
But his real magic was a circus in a suitcase, which was inspired by a real circus. I love the drawings of his circus characters he made before giving them 3d shape with wire, rubber, cork, buttons, bottle caps, wood and other objects he found close by.


Sword swallower

Dancer on stilts

Ring master

These drawings prints are gift from some one very dear to me. Everytime I look at these posters, they bring a smile on my face. As if the acrobat is going to lead all the other characters in performing the task their creator had assigned them in his circus. The two dimensional sketches have a magical effect on everybody who takes a look at them.
Maybe it was a child inside Alexander, which inspired him to make his “Cirque Calder”.
The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius- Rebecca Pepper Sinkler.
Alexander Calder a true genius who inculcated art in every part of life, a toy, pot, tapestry, jewelry, painting, installations stabile or a mobile.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece on Calder. It's unfortunate his work is still quite unknown. Had the opportunity of visiting one of the exhibitions, from installations to drawings, it was quite phenomenal.