Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"11" - Literary Art

I have always admired the work of great artists. Regardless of their medium, I love to be swept away into the worlds they create. I enjoy the mysteries of metaphor and am fascinated by fantasy. Sadly, though my own brain is filled with a myriad of artistic visions, I cannot adequately express them through paint or sculpture. Thus, I am left with my words. I have been laboriously working on a book whose working title is “Literary Art”. In it, I attempt to use my words to illustrate the various pieces of art that are wandering around my head. I only create a “piece” when I am feeling particularly inspired so it has been a slow road. I thought I would share with you one of my latest creations. This piece was inspired after watching a news story of yet another “seemed like a nice guy” arrest. The story made me think of how we all hide bits and pieces of our true selves from the world. I wanted to demonstrate this by creating an “every man”. An example of the never-ending battle between order and chaos that goes on in each of us.

Title: 11
Medium: Sculpture


Imagine with me as we walk through the museum of my brain. We enter a plain white room. In the center of this room is a free-standing sculpture of a well-dressed man standing next to a small table. A clock sits silently on the table. The man is wearing a white dress shirt, black slacks and gives off an aura of confidence. A black tie hangs from his neck. The tie is too long; it slithers forward off of the sculpture and onto the small table. As you look closer, you see that the tie has a very small colorful design on the front, near the man’s chest. The design is small and circular, like a bullet hole. Inside is a bright array of color and design that appears as though it’s struggling to escape the center and invade the surrounding material. You look even closer and see tiny bits of colorful thread extending into the surrounding darkness.

We examine the sculpture as a whole and see evidence of the same struggle throughout the piece. Reflections in his eyes, odd defects in his clothing; from a distance he looks perfectly normal, but up close you begin to wonder what is trying to get out. The clock on the small table is set for 11:00 AM. The tie wraps itself around the clock’s hands with a few extra feet of material resting on the table. You find yourself curious. What happens when you pull on the tie and change the time? You pull and the hands of the clock begin to move as the sculpture slides open. When the clock reaches 11:00 PM, the sculpture is fully open, revealing its chaotic interior.

Photographs, paintings and drawings saturate the interior. Colors burst from his feet to his hair in explosions of his true nature. Some are abstract, apparently meaningless in their simplicity, but curious in their placement. Why are his hands fiery red? His brain dark? His scrotum blue? While others embrace realism: a naked female model, a naked male model, images of pornography, drugs, alcohol, skydiving, images of a coworker’s breasts, a bank statement showing that he is broke, used scratch off lottery tickets, a sports car, a crucifix, a photo of himself masturbating in front of disappointed parents. We see areas of darkness with disturbing images of violence. We see other areas of brightness and examples of love and kindness. We are seeing the true nature of this man. The things he does not show to society whether for fear, shame or privacy. We see in his head, a small child in a cage- scared and alone. Order has been replaced by chaos, but you hear a click, click, click from the clock as it makes its way quickly back to 11:00AM. After a brief time, order has been restored and the statue is closed.

11 speaks to me about the realities behind our masks. In many ways, I have created the Orbson Oracle to tear down the my own barriers between order and chaos. To embrace my true nature so that I am not shackled like the man in the sculpture above. The Orbson Oracle is a part of my chaos, do you know what yours look like?

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