Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Couldn’t He Have Been a Painter ? - Lamentations of Sculpture Roadies

The most basic fact about cast bronze sculpture is often the most overlooked. Each piece is made of metal and is, as a result, very heavy. With the inclusion of the expected granite or marble base you’re hard pressed to find a piece that weighs less than fifteen pounds. And, of course, each sculpture has to have a pedestal on which to be displayed. While these aren’t made of cast bronze they are still heavy and certainly awkward. When the gallery is properly set-up with all the most recent works placed to best advantage, prices and signage in place, and lighting correspondingly designed, it’s easy to forget what a mammoth effort it is to move work around.

The reality came crashing down on us this weekend due to our participation in the new Carmel Art and Film Festival. In addition to a slew of other events the festival, which was organized with the director of the Sunset Film Festival, included an art show in a local Carmel Park. As a selected artist, Steven had a booth to display work. The idea of an outdoor art show with noted artists all displaying their work in the usually sunny Carmel autumn is a romantic concept and I’m sure it’s a pleasant attraction to visit. But, the transport and set-up for the event is a mammoth and cumbersome undertaking. Not to mention it was strangely cold all weekend.

The event found us loading trucks with sculpture at 5:45 in the morning, only to have to bring it all back in the evening for security and then return it the next day. Of course, as with any struggle, you immediately feel as though your lot is the hardest. This mature response is how we have come to hate all painters. It’s an indiscriminant, purely selfish resentment based solely on the fact that their artwork weighs less, takes up less room, displays faster and is just generally more portable. The painters at last weekend’s event made one trip and set up their booths in an hour. Five trips later, we’re exhausted, bitter and depressed that the other painting artists have eaten all the good muffins. The noble pursuit of artistic expression is nothing in the face of such hardship and unbalance.

At 8 p.m. on the last day of the festival, when two and a half hours of transporting finally brought the conclusion of our participation, we drove out of town and passed the park. One car was still parked near the edge, hazard lights on and back door ajar. We looked over to find it was being loaded up by one of the festival’s only other sculptors. If I had his address I’d send him a solidarity muffin.

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