Swan Song

Sculpture #1

This sculpture is going to save the world. It is going to stop wars and bring people together and provide clarity to a generation so filled with uncertainty and doubt. It is going to turn conservatives into liberals and liberals into conservatives. It is going to turn Christians into atheists and atheists into believers. It will ruin marriages and forge new, unlikely unions. People will quit their jobs over this sculpture. Vegetarians will start eating meat over this sculpture. It will prompt people to break laws and protect the poor and fuck complete strangers. This sculpture is going to make people do terrible things. This sculpture will make people take care of each other, but not all the time. This sculpture will recalibrate us all, turn us into the things we have been all along, force us to accept people for who they really are. And whether we are good or bad or selfish or unkind, we will accept them all - understanding that we cannot all be the same, that we cannot always be good, like all the same things or believe in the same things or think in the same way. Because there is no right way. There is no absolute truth but our own and that requires a tolerant society. And that is okay.

This sculpture will travel around the world. And all that witness it will fall to their knees and cry with joy - for no matter who they are, how rich or how poor, how young or how old -they will at once realize that they are free, that the most important thing i life is to think and create and live in the manner which feels natural and pure. And that will require prisons. And that will require laws. But most importantly, it will require compassion and tolerance. That is what this sculpture will reveal.

This sculpture will permeate the air. There is no government or religion or censorship that can stand in the way of it's truth. Once revealed, all will look at it with a broad and deep smile of understanding and peace. And people will laugh. Laugh knowing that they had it in them all the time, laugh because all it took was the simple action of looking to absorb such a profound truth. This sculpture was made for you. To inspire you, to remind you that you are an artist, a thinker, an individual and that you hold the power to change the world.  This sculpture was not built to turn you into what I wanted you to be, but to transform you into the what you have always been. And for some it is a reaffirmation and for others it is a recalibration and for some it is a shock and awe campaign. This sculpture takes you that inch or that continent closer to who you really are, and that is what is important. This sculpture will not make the world perfect or make you perfect or bring about world  peace, but it will give you the license to be who you are and say what you feel and live how you want to live. And that is all we can ever ask from a sculpture.


Sculpture #2

This sculpture is going to catch the eye of a very savvy art dealer. This art dealer is going to interrupt a very important dinner party to interrupt a very wealthy art patron and tell them to drive here immediately. And this very wealthy art patron will come because the tone of the art dealer's voice is frantic and excited like a kid at Disneyland. And this art patron will double-park their very expensive car, walk into this apartment/gallery and immediately know that her time was not wasted. She will write a check for this sculpture, paid in full, all the while trying to conceal the slightest of smirks, knowing that she grossly underpaid for this three dimensional marvel - knowing that in just a few years time it will be worth 100 times more than it was today.

This sculpture will be picked up by professional art movers. It will be carefully driven to the wealthy art collectors home and placed on display in a very prominent location, in a temperature controlled room, with lasers that protect her collection from sophisticated burglars who rightly dream of stealing her priceless collection.

This sculpture will be talked about at dinner parties attended by other wealthy art collectors, and museum directors and writers and the occasional artist. They will debate about it, but universally agree upon one thing - it is a great sculpture, and the wealthy art collector sure had an eye for discovering truly brilliant work. Eventually this sculpture will be loaned to museums and travel around the world - placed on display alongside other very prominent works. It's value increases like the altimeter on an ascending jet plane. It increases exponentially, adding zero after zero. It is worth millions, maybe hundreds of millions. And the wealthy art collector decides that it is time to put this sculpture up for auction.

Museums and private collectors fill the auction house in New York City, where several men wearing suits and white gloves cautiously move the sculpture into the room. The crowd goes silent. The air is thick with anticipation. Palms sweat. And all the other paintings and sculptures and photographs take backseat to this main event. And the paddles flip up and the phone handlers talk their long distance clients through the steady rise of bids, and the auctioneer calls out "do we have 28 million? Yes, we do - thank you. Do we have 28.5? 28.5 thank you" and the number keeps rising and rising and the bidding narrows to one well dressed gentleman from a downtown museum and a private bidder from overseas. And the auctioneer calls out "going once, going twice - sold to number 31 for 117 million and 250 thousand!" The crowd collectively exhales and the well dressed gentleman nods with the slightest of of smiles.

This sculpture is that important. It will live behind black velvet ropes. It will have 5 individual security cameras on it. It will pay for itself in three years time, as attendance to the museum  reaches an all-time high. This sculpture is the topic of thousands of post-graduate dissertations. This sculpture is studied by every art student. This sculpture is frequently debated late at night at parties attended by curators and professors. This sculpture might be the most important artwork of our time.

Sculpture #3

This sculpture didn't change the world in any substantial way, nor did it  sell for millions of dollars. It wasn't even created by a 'professional' sculptor, just someone who had an idea that couldn't quite be expressed with writing or painting or music. It had to be expressed as a three dimensional sculpture, and even with possessing limited talent, that is what he set out to do.

This sculpture took a very long time to create. There were weeks where the artist just walked around his creation, studied it from every angle, stood in front of it puzzled, frustrated and uncertain. He read books, he took classes - this was that important to him - it was a critical operation and he felt as if his life depended upon it. For an entire year, this sculpture just wasn't quite right. There were parts that were interesting, but it failed to capture his voice, it failed to capture the ideas that his vocal chords and his keyboard were ill-equipped to fabricate.

This sculpture was painstaking. This sculpture was a pain in the ass. This sculpture caused countless sleepless nights. But three years later, the artist (properly drunk) had his eureka moment, raced out to his garage and spent the next 134 hours frantically capturing the answer  that he feared would disappear like the memory of a dream. And one day, this sculpture was finished.

Other people did not appreciate this sculpture. Certainly his friends and family applauded the tenacity to his summit, but to strangers, curators, dealers and other artists, it just didn't resonate with them. It would be fair to say that this sculpture was rather ignored by the world at large.

The artist, elated by his breakthrough, was taken back that others did not appreciate the clarity of his expression or applaud his great feat. He was frustrated that this sculpture did not sway the dealers or the critics or the curators that guarded the gates of contemporary art. This sculpture was shown briefly in the record store his friend Carl owned. This sculpture was donated to an auction for a very good cause but failed to garner a single bid. Years past and the artist maintained his conviction - this  was the single greatest achievement of his life - this embodied something greater than himself - it defied words and explanation - it was his swan song. He never created another sculpture in his life.

This sculpture was given as a gift to an old girlfriend who bought a big house and had all of this extra room but no money to purchase furniture or art or much of anything else. For a few days this sculpture looked good in this big, clean, empty house. But as other stuff came in, as rugs and couches and track lighting were installed, this sculpture sank back into unassuming mediocrity. It gathered dust. It was moved into the office. It was moved down to the basement. It was moved outside next to the pond. And one day her interior designer put his foot down and had this sculpture taken to Goodwill, where it w as priced very reasonably. And on half-price pink tag day, a local book dealer purchased this sculpture for $15.49, took it home and wrapped it in carpet remnants. His four cats absolutely adored it.