Sunday, June 03, 2012

hey big nose: the sculpture of leif grønhøj

stræberen (the seeker) by leif grønhøj
one of the pleasant surprises on the guided sculpture walk was that one of the artists was there himself! it was just coincidence that we actually finished up the tour looking at his pieces. i'd been walking along with him and his wife and talking with them about the other pieces all along and was pleased to find out he was one of the artists himself! his works are placed together in a grouping of 5 and tho' they weren't created together, they make for a very interesting and harmonious grouping.

stræberen (the seeker) by leif grønhøj
the artist was leif grønhøj, a sculptor from aalborg. you can see more of his work here. you may recognize this one from yesterday's crabby post.

anybody by leif grønhøj
he was in town because he had to repair one of the sculptures - this one called anybody. the danger of having art out in the open, where anyone can access it, is that people can get strange ideas. apparently someone decided to play football with mr. anybody and his left ear and eyebrow were damaged in the process.

anybody by leif grønhøj
leif was able to use the stone itself to make the repairs and you couldn't see at all where the damage had been. one consequence is that now mr. anybody is glued to his bronze pin that holds him to his base. leif doesn't normally glue the pieces, as they're more transportable if you can lift them off the base for transport, but in this case, where the pieces stand near a busy street in the center of town, they're simply too tempting and small enough to lift, so they had to be glued.

vogter I & II (guardian I & II) by leif grønhøj
our enthusiastic tour guide was telling a lively tale of what the guardians spent their time talking about. he did an awesome job of bringing the works to life. it was the best two hours i've spent in a long time.

big nose by leif grønhøj
leif described how the faces are simply there in the stone and he just coaxes them out. he said that big nose just had a big nose and it wasn't anything he really had control of - it was the way he was, there within the stone.

vogter I (guardian I) by leif grønhøj
he also talked a lot about the bases and how for him they are an integral part of the pieces, but that people often ask him about them and either love them or hate them. i though they were the perfect base for showing off the works. he also said he uses bronze pins to hold them up, as other metals would soon rust and color off onto the stone.

big nose by leif grønhøj
it was so interesting to listen to the artist talk about the various techniques and tools he uses to get different effects - polishers, small jackhammers and such. i love gathering stones on the beach, but haven't really considered looking for what characters lurk within.

vogter II (guardian II) by leif grønhøj
stone is such a marvelous material, living somehow, tho' cold and impassive at the same time. looking at these pieces, with their weird features and expressions, i definitely felt that they had indeed been lurking there in the stone all along, just waiting for leif to coax them out.

anybody by leif grønhøj (and that IS leif grønhøj on the right)
i wonder if future archaeologists will find such pieces and think we worshipped strange big-nosed gods or gazed towards the stars. and it makes me wonder if archaeologists read too much into what was just artistic expression in the idols and figures uncovered today.

one more shot of big nose by leif grønhøj
if you wanted to buy all five pieces, at the current exchange rate, they would run you $19,235 (116,000DKK). not quite bill's $25,000 = real art, but in my opinion, real art nonetheless. if you just wanted big nose (like i kinda do), he'll run you $3,814 (23,000DKK).


will said...

Well, it seems you have a nose for good art!

Veronica Roth said...

Great to see art on this scale for sale publicly. I’d love to sculpt stone but it would mean having to build a relationship with a forklift, jackhammer, chisels...etc...a bit much to consider right now. (give me time tho)

Lost Star said...

Big Nose is pretty awesome!

I love this idea of artworks just in your local area!

I'm actually off for an art open day type thing within the local area in a couple of weeks. There are quilters living in this street who are having an open house, along with potters, textile workers, furniture makers etc, all within walking distance! Can't wait!

I would love to see more of this type of thing though! Art is good! :D