El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


At an art museum recently, an 8-year old told me--rather definitively--that, "It looks better if you stand back. You can really see it." We stood really close and then backed up slowly. Sure enough, the definition and detail came out the further back we stood. My fascination with sculpture and mural art is a little bit confounded in this way. It's hard to photograph wall-scapes, and capturing the essence of sky and sculpture with a camera is a challenge for a better photographer than I. But that hasn't stopped me. Getting in close for those detail shots, zooming out showing the whole.

This is a great example (read more at Oddity Central) of art that you have to stand back to view properly. Waaay back.

This dimensional sculpture, created by Michael Kalish, is entitled, reALIze, in honor of Muhammed Ali (Cassius Clay), World Champion Heavyweight Boxer. It's one of those things that you have to stand back to appreciate. This view, well, it's hard to tell that there is any sort of representational image. But when you stand back, you see that all those hanging black and white sacs together form a huge portrait, all the more stunning because the medium is punching bags. Yep, punching bags!

Made up of 1,300 raindrop-shaped punching bags, 6.5 miles of stainless steel cable and 2,500 pounds of aluminum pipe, reALIze is a monumental 22-foot-high tribute to one of the world’s greatest boxing icons. The coolest thing about this thing is that if you look at it from any side it looks like a whirlwind of hanging punching bags, but if you look at it from a certain point, in the front, you’ll see a clear portrait of Muhammad Ali.                   --Oddity Central
I was sorry to have missed this in LA on my recent trip. Apparently, it will be unveiled March 25th, 2011 at Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles, and Ali himself is rumored to make an appearance and hang the last bag.

You'll want to check out these two cool videos about this sculpture:
1), and
2) at Kalish's page

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