Monday, January 10, 2011

Portland Sidewalk Art

I have class until nine on Thursday so by the time I was free all the galleries were closing. It was disappointing because I am inspired to see as much as I can where ever I go. I was excited about seeing something new and beautiful when I was walking down the street and noticed something I have looked at many times but never really saw as art. There are three stone sculptures on the corner of 6th and Columbia outside a restaurant called Nel Centro. The pair of sculptures resting in the grass just outside the establishment’s outdoor seating area was the main focus of my attention. The sculptures are about 4 feet high and appear to be made of stone. Particularly what caught my eye was the composition. The proximity and simplicity of the freestanding pieces provide harmony, however, the direction gives contrast as one has a downward contour and the other has an upward contour that creates flowing rhythm. The negative space between the two pieces implies wave-like movement. One of the sculptures is higher than the other, creating variety and asymmetrical balance within the composition. Although there doesn’t seem to be a focal point, the squares cut into the stone blocks creates more variety and negative space within the stone mass. The tactile texture is smooth, cool and shiny while there is a presence of porous stone within the simulated texture. The motif always made me think of a couple of macaroni noodles and I assumed it was a sort of corporate art to make you hungry for pasta and Italian food, but now I see it in sculpture terms. I have tried to find more information about these sculptures but so far I have had no luck.

Michelle Caldwell

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