Category Archives: Visual art

News from the bridge today

The Rock River surface as crumpled aluminum foil. 25 Sept. 2016

The Rock River surface as crumpled aluminum foil. 25 Sept. 2016

Homecoming was a week ago. View of south end of bridge, 25 Sept.

Ribbons remain lashed to the rails, though Homecoming was a week ago. View of south end of bridge, 25 Sept.

Under the south end of bridge over Rock River at Byron, 25 Sept. 2016

The hobos’ gallery: Under the south end of bridge over Rock River at Byron, 25 Sept. 2016

The cheeriest under-bridge art ever, possibly.

The cheeriest under-bridge art ever, possibly.

Signed Gerald I'm sincere

“signed gerald I’m sincere”

Stay positive.

“Stay positive.”

Oak leaf bunch, south of bridge, 25 Sept.

Oak leaf bunch, south of bridge, 25 Sept.

My dog and "YOLO!" under bridge.

My dog and “YOLO!”
under bridge.

Oak leaf, south of bridge. 25 Sept.

Oak leaf, south of bridge. 25 Sept.

 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ‘Eternal Indian’ Statue

Wrapped statue, photo taken 30 June 2015.

Wrapped statue above the Rock River, photo taken 30 June 2015.

Zoomed-in image of 30 June 2015.

Zoomed-in image of 30 June 2015.

Art fans in my county can look at another example of artistic wrapping (see earlier example here) by driving on Route 2 north of Oregon, Ill., to see Lorado Taft’s “The Eternal Indian” statue, commonly referred to as the “Blackhawk Statue.” What looks intriguingly like a green monolith on a green hillside is actually the statue under protective wraps while it undergoes restoration work to repair cracking concrete. The picture below doesn’t give a sense of the statue’s scale, but it does focus on some of the disintegration:

Photo of the 48-foot tall statue from below, taken Sept. 2011 and showing some of the damaged concrete.

Photo of the 48-foot tall statue from below, taken Sept. 2011.

 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Water Tower

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Well, this isn’t really the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (or if it is, they’re keeping pretty quiet about it), but there is a fabric-covered cylinder where my town’s water tower used to be. There was some hissing noise coming from the direction of the tower once the curtain went up — the tower was taking a shower, perhaps?

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Also, the fabric itself does present some aesthetic enjoyment as it rippled in the wind and as it was partially highlighted by the sun.

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My suspicion is that this fabric was put up merely for practical reasons, but I like to find art wherever I can find it. (See other Ogle County unintentional art here.)

Family portraits by six-year-old me

I recently found these drawings, marked August 1980, in the baby book my mom made for me.

My dad

My dad

It speaks either to my skill, or to my resemblance to my father, or both, but when my wife saw this drawing, she thought at first that it was depicting me.

My mom

My mom

I couldn’t now tell you why mom’s one eye is bigger and double-circled, and why her nose is so equilateral.

My grandmother Phoebe

My grandmother Phoebe

Her hair has been this short for most of the time I’ve known my grandmother, but, honestly, her hair has never had a lot of body.

My mom's aunt (my great-aunt) Betty

My mom’s aunt (my great-aunt) Betty

OK, I really am not sure what’s going on with the chin-shading. I don’t recall my great-aunt having a beard, so I’m hoping this was just a shadow? Or maybe an oddly high turtleneck?

My great-grandmother Alice

My great-grandmother Alice

For a six-year-old, I did a decent job of representing the shapes of these faces in a way that somehow does remind me of these actual people.