Claes Oldenburg

After sharing my idea for project 4 yesterday, Professor Comberg suggested that I look up the works of Claes Oldenburg.  We’re all familiar with his button sculpture, but his other public artworks are undoubtedly just as incredible, if not more incredible.  His works tend to be larger than life, public, and feature ordinary if not mundane objects.  Pictured below is one of his works that professor Comberg mentioned in class.  The picture is actually his presentation model, but the piece serves to suggest psycho-sexual problems with America’s military.  The actual sculpture stands at Yale University.Image

After doing a bit of searching, I found a manifesto of sorts that Oldenberg wrote in 1961.  It is titled “I am for an art” and is especially interesting considering the class conversation that we had this week.  The link to this piece is right here:

http://www.penguin.ca/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141191799,00.html?sym=EXC

In this statement, Oldenburg provides a rather extensive list of types of art that he “is for.”  Some of the items on the list become bizarre or absurdly specific.  I believe that his overall message in this and his work in general is that absolutely anything can become art given some originality.  This comes through in his art as well as he has accomplished a seemingly unlikely task of getting people to marvel at objects such as a spoon, a trowel, and even a button.

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