Monday, January 10, 2011

This mostly free-standing statue (only the rain-spout is connected to a wall) resides outside the New Seasons on south-east twentieth and division. I don't know the artist's name, and for lack of further information I've been calling it "There is No Somewhere Else", which is written across the metal pot that makes up the statue's base.
The piece is an assemblage sculpture, and stands about ten feet from the base, to the rains-pout above the figure. The scale of the figure is somewhat shorter than a grown person (about four feet). It's put together from pieces of scrap metal and other metallic found objects. The head for instance, is a coffee pot with drain-stoppers for eyes.
It is figurative, though very stylized. The content is a person stepping in a rain puddle as they make their way to the store. The intention to shop seems to be indicated by a purse, which the artist represents with a toaster hanging off the arm. The large base collects a puddle of water, which the figure is forever leaping out of. The rain-spout is connected to the gutters of the store roof. When it rains the gutters drain out of the spout and over the figure, into the base.The umbrella, when rained on, actually rotates, giving the sculpture a kinetic element. The water also acts to create an organic line between the separate elements of the sculpture, giving the overall composition unity.
Being exposed to the elements, the piece has a gained a chromatic simplicity. It is either reflective metal surface, or deep rust.
Figurative proportion seems to come and go.The arms are too short to short to be representative, however, the femur is longer than the shin. The artist also provided the figure with a spine, in the form of a chain attached to the back.
The piece seems to have an allegorical quality. The phrase "There is No Somewhere Else" brings to mind thoughts of local ism, and broader conscientiousness. The star pattern on the belly may be indicative of the importance of food, not only to the commerce, but to the greater Portland culture.

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