Friday, November 27, 2009

Weed Sculpture

The photograph is of Christopher Weed's public artwork called Windswept, situated at the nearby light rail station. I don't think of wind when I view the work. Indeed, as the row of poles under the larger red spheres leans to the east and the other row leans to the west, it's hard to conceive of a wind pattern that would produce this result. Instead, I am reminded of the little wooden sticks for a child's xylophone. Weed received a $50,000 commision for this art.

In an earlier blog entry (May 30, 2009 – Giant Purple Bristle Heads), I noted a similar Weed public artwork that placed purple spheres atop long poles. Weed's press release states:

Christopher Weed's sculpture Serenity on the corner of S. Colorado Blvd. and Buchtel Blvd. consists of 18 bright purple spheres, set atop stainless steel "stems" varying in height up to 20 feet. Ten thousand thin steel rods jut out from the powder-coated, iridescent tops to create a thistle-like, or cosmic, appearance, depending on the viewer's interpretation.

Weed's goal was to create a bit of escapism at a very busy intersection. "When placed in a grouping, the sculpture creates a canopy effect, much like being in a forest," he said. "The idea was to create numerous, free-standing sculptural elements, where viewers can lose themselves, if only for a brief moment."

Weed grew up in Philadelphia, PA, earned a fine arts degree from the University of Maryland, studied in Europe for several years, and has installed 15 public art projects in the U.S. and abroad since 1998. His Colorado installations include "Opening Doors" at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, named "Best Public Art in Denver" in 2007 by 5280 magazine, and the popular Windswept sculpture at the RTD Dayton light rail station in 2006. He has also completed projects in Aurora, Lafayette, Boulder, and Superior. He is represented at A New Leaf Gallery in San Francisco, CA., and Shidoni Foundry,Shidoni Foundry, Gallery and Sculpture Gardens in Santa Fe, NM.

Weed has a curious notion of serenity. The bristle head artwork was anything but serene. I considered it ominous and disturbing. These xylophone sticks with their spiky purple heads would mar the xylophone plates.

For Weed's latest public artwork, he has progressed from giant xylophone sticks to a pair of giant paperclips. As stated in his blog ( "Christopher Weed's Red Paperclips, installed at the Plaza of the Rockies in downtown Colorado Springs, consists of 2 larger than life cherry red paperclips, standing 24’ high and weighing 3.5 tons."

I myself am thinking about pitching an idea to the Regional Transportation District. The work will be called Versatility. Imagine a a five-ton Swiss army knife.