This little bust of a Greco-Roman soldier sporting a super fancy helmet caught my eye despite its diminutive size of maybe 2 inches in height. And as is basks in a pinkish-hued glow, it’s easy to believe that the statue is in fact pink; but it’s not. The tiny bust is white, but by shooting it with my phone from a low angle, I was able to maximize the pink reflection of the room’s walls through the glass shelf on which it sits. It’s art!
Photographed at Wonderworld Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is a work of fiction. It has the appearance of unfired clay combined with everyday objects but in fact is made entirely of cast bronze. The cracks and fissures that cover its surface imply an organic process of drying and decay, yet its metal form is fixed.
It might suggest an incomplete model, abandoned in the artist’s studio, if not for the fact that its colossal size and civic location lend it the air of a grand monument. Eyes shut, the androgynous figure’s mask-like features are at rest, undisturbed by an abrupt slice through a third of its face. The unfinished side of the head is held as if in a splint by wooden planks, one tied with rope.
At the back, chairs and a suitcase, all slightly reduced in size, protrude from a mass of formless material. These shifts in scale, unexplained objects, and trompe l’oeil bronze effects alter our perception and spark the imagination.
Back of Sculpture, Detail
Mark Manders (b. 1968, The Netherlands) has been interested in the human figure throughout his career, and is particularly fascinated with the head, which he sometimes depicts detached from the body and juxtaposed with different elements. These heads are always stylized representations rather than individualized portraits.
His approach creates a paradoxical sense of both immediacy and timelessness, of something newly made with fresh clay yet belonging to the traditions of classical statuary. With Tilted Head, Manders has rendered a compelling fiction of human form that inhabits a poetic space between representation and abstraction, serenity and rupture, life and mortality.
Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is Curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. It Will be on Display at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, Adjacent to Central Park, Through September 1st, 2019.
Update: I was near the Park over the Memorial Day weekend and got this new shot of the sculpture with Summer’s lush greenery in the background!
Ascetic, sharp features give this bust (circa 1909) of conductor/composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) an aristocratic look. Mahler modeled for Rodin, though the sittings were difficult to endure for the nervous composer, who saw rest as “time wasted away from his work.” This, according to his wife, Alma Mahler.
Trivia: After Mahler’s death in 1911 (at age 5o) from a bacterial infection of the heart valve, Alma Mahler went on to be married to Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, for five years.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on NYC.
I tell you, it does not ever get boring looking for fucked up shit to photograph for this blog, because it is everywhere. I saw this baby head sculpture with a seed pod body — and actually, if you look below, there are two of them — at the Into the Wild exhibit at Art Now NY Gallery on West 28th Street. And now it cannot be unseen.
Behold: The Full on Seed Pod Baby Head Experience!