Tag Archives: sculptures

Glassed

Combining traditional glassblowing techniques and sculpting methods, Debora Moore forms incredible glass sculptures that resemble mossy branches, fleshy petals, and entire trees.  The St. Louis-born artist began by creating orchids with bulbous centers before expanding her practice to larger, organic forms.  In her recent collection, Arboria, Moore sculpted delicate magnolias, plump plums, and the lavender tendrils of the wisteria.

Moore likens her process to that of painting, where glass is used similarly to produce depth.  “The material’s inherent ability to transmit and reflect light, as well as its variations from transparency to opacity, lends itself perfectly to achieve desired textures and surfaces,” says Moore.

“Magnolia” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Winter Plum” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Winter Plum” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Blue Lady Slippers” from Gigantica, blown and sculpted glass

“Wisteria” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Wisteria” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Blue Orchid Tree,” blown and sculpted glass

“Pink Lady Slipper,” blown and sculpted glass

“Blue Epiphyte,” blown and sculpted glass

“Magnolia” from Arboria (2018), blown and sculpted glass

“Blush Epidendrum,” blown and sculpted glass

 “Purple Lady Slipper,” blown and sculpted glass

“Paphiopedilum Epiphyte,” blown and sculpted glass

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In Memoriam – Francisco López Toledo, 1940-2019

“We add our voice … to those who struggle for the recognition and protection for their rights and cultures, because to the extent that we respect our differences, we shall build a life with more justice.”

Francisco López Toledo

Cocodrilo Rojo (Red Crocodile), 2009
El Perro de Olga (Olga’s Dog), 1976
La Madre de los Alacranes (Mother of the Scorpions), 1976
Libertad-a-Victor-Yodo, (Freedom to Victor)
Mujer Toro (Bull Woman), 1987
Rabbit Goes to War, 1993
Vaca Mala (Bad Cow), undated
Venado con Zapatos (Deer with Shoes), 1970
Kites with images of 43 murdered students at Mexico City’s Memory and Tolerance Museum in 2015

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Anatomically Correct and Socially Uptight

One of nine bronze sculptures by artist Jorge Marin in Houston.  Try not to look too hard.

One of nine bronze sculptures by artist Jorge Marin in Houston. Try not to look too hard.

In January of 2002, as the United States was still reeling from the calamity of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft became overwhelmed with a more pressing matter: two statutes of partially nude female figures in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice. Feeling undignified being photographed in front of them, he ordered one, “Spirit of Justice,” to be covered. At taxpayer expense, $8,000 worth of drapery shielded unsuspecting viewers from both of the art deco statues. These were the same statues that stood behind former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese in 1986, when he announced findings of a Department of Justice study on pornography.

In recent decades, social conservatives have associated nudity and human sexuality with pornography. The dysfunctional comparison has arisen again in Houston where Mexican artist Jorge Marin has – well – erected nine bronze sculptures of anatomically correct male forms in a park. Collectively entitled “Wings of the City,” the figures have taken up residence in the city’s downtown area. Houston is just the latest major metropolitan area to see Marin’s artwork; he’s exhibited his statutes over 200 times. They stood on México City’s heavily-traveled Paseo de la Reforma where millions of people viewed them.

But, to the easily-offended souls of America’s fourth largest city, the statutes don’t qualify as art; they’re pornography. Get real!

“It’s very inappropriate, seeing that they have a lot of kids here,” resident Trena Cole told the “Houston Chronicle” recently.

“I don’t know that it enhances the park,” another resident, Julie Griffis, who lives nearby, also told the Chronicle. “I don’t think it fits in with the theme.”

Other residents, such as Jim Thomas, don’t see any problem with the statues. “We see them as art,” he told the Chronicle, mentioning one of the most famous anatomically-correct nude male figures of all time: Michelangelo’s “David.”

College student Alan Lima pointed out, “It’s part of the body. What can you do? That’s the way you were born.”

Exactly! That’s how we’re born. There seems to be a growing sense of animosity towards the male physique in recent years. It’s gotten to the point where I often see young men wearing two and three shirts during winter and long pants during summer, while their overweight wives and girlfriends parade around in mini-shorts that make me want to call Green Peace about beached whales. Professional basketball players wear shorts so long and baggy they qualify as split skirts. I’ve heard stories of school boys who won’t shower in the locker rooms after physical education classes because someone might think they’re queer.

If the fools who think the statues are “pornography” could get proctologists to help find their brains, they might want to hop over to Houston’s rougher sides where people are dropping dead from drug use and gun violence. Visit a homeless shelter where children often stay and tell me again you think a nude male sculpture is “pornography.”

There’s nothing pornographic or offensive about the male body. I have plenty of pictures of my body. Videos, too! Oh, wait…that’s a different subject. Anyway, check out Marin’s work and try not to get too upset.

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