And don’t forget his stop frame live animation “Fat Feet.”

> On Jul 19, 2022, at 7:52 PM, Molly Hankwitz <mollyhankw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> dear d.garcia,
> 
> thank you for posting this manifesto/poem. i read that Oldenburg had died 
> yesterday. another legend to say goodbye to. unfortunately, artists get 
> recognized and then they get interpreted, frequently badly by curators, 
> buyers, art historians and theorists who place them and put them. Often what 
> is said has nothing to do with why or how the artist did what they did and 
> then conceptually, everyone went against this problem  and wanted to 
> self-represent so as to be understood, or so that they would not be 
> misunderstood and then were misunderstood years later when the "simplicity" 
> of making material objects produced less dissonance. thank you for publishing 
> his own words.
> 
> his art can be seen as "bloated corporate pop art" - but, i'd like to credit 
> him with having made art more accessible to people, and for bridging gaps in 
> low-high thinking about art, and certainly as a welcome counter move to AbEX 
> bravado, even with his exaggerated scale. 
> 
> today his iconic works can and should be critiqued for their benign, 
> mid-century modernist appeal, maybe. nationalist? colonialist? banal? 
> white-bred? maybe...democratic...i'd like to think more along these lines... 
> pie, baseball, hamburgers -  there is nothing edgy about these objects and by 
> today's critical standards they may even appear to likeable to be art. not 
> half the critical wit of Duane Hanson, but then, which one would you put in 
> your yard? if you have a yard...he made many of the 'bloated' pieces in the 
> early 1960s right about the time of this text you sent. i am going to give 
> this to  my students 
> 
> Oldenburg brought a non-intimidating abstraction to art - by appealing to 
> ordinary things and people and at a monumental scale. He boosted the little 
> guy or gal; the one who made the pie with meringue. They are ordinary and 
> democratic. There is something to be said for that as lasting monumental 
> mementos of what may now be a failing democracy.  
> 
> The baseball bat in Chicago is hollow.  So tall. Rusting. Admirably iconic 
> engineering achievement in this way, and yet, a kind of surreal Magritte's 
> comb amidst smaller buildings and structures. Left behind by a giant player.
> 
> You can say, why make an icon like that, but I think it is more a relic that 
> no one else thought to make. It doesn't exactly celebrate baseball, more the 
> form of the bat. the giant diaper pin at the deYoung is similarly. Not an 
> orgiastic nod to diaper-changing, rather, it is about the peculiar form of 
> abstraction that occurs when something is oversized and maybe it is a 
> monument to the decades before Pampers! 
> 
> soft sculpture pieces are made from toxic awful materials probably, but i 
> still like them. 
> 
> lastly, the Ray Gun Museum is brilliant, as is the Mouse Museum. These works 
> were so evocative when I saw them in New York in about 1987.
> 
> early installation of a slanted banal motel room is also brilliant. forgot 
> title.
> 
> RIP Claes Oldenburg - he left so much behind to grace the landscape.
> 
> Benign can be a good thing
> 
> molly
> 
> 
> 
>> On Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 6:14 AM <d.gar...@new-tactical-research.co.uk> wrote:
>> Yesterday at a ripe old age of 93 Claes Oldenburg died. For those who 
>> may know him only as a purveyor of bloated corporate pop art of his 
>> later years may be surprised just how radical he was when he started out 
>> and just how different he was from the pop-artists who bought 
>> uncritically into consumerist ethos. His early ‘floppy’ sculptures ( 
>> constructed largely by his wife who got little recognition) are raw and 
>> challenging. His drawings are some of the most vivid of the era. But to 
>> get a real flavour of his outlook you can do no better than his 
>> manifesto “I Am For…” 1961. Sixty years later it still rings true.
>> 
>> I Am For… (Statement, 1961)
>> I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something 
>> other than sit on its ass in a museum.
>> I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all, an art given 
>> the chance of having a starting point of zero.
>> I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still 
>> comes out on top.
>> I am for an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or 
>> violent, or whatever is necessary.
>> I am for all art that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that 
>> twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and 
>> coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself.
>> I am for an artist who vanishes, turning up in a white cap painting 
>> signs or hallways.
>> I am for art that comes out of a chimney like black hair and scatters in 
>> the sky.
>> I am for art that spills out of an old man’s purse when he is bounced 
>> off a passing fender.
>> I am for the art out of a doggie’s mouth, falling five stories from the 
>> roof.
>> I am for the art that a kid licks, after peeling away the wrapper.
>> I am for an art that joggles like everyone’s knees, when the bus 
>> traverses an excavation.
>> I am for art that is smoked like a cigarette, smells like a pair of 
>> shoes.
>> I am for art that flaps like a flag, or helps blow noses like a 
>> handkerchief.
>> I am for art that is put on and taken off like pants, which develops 
>> holes like socks, which is eaten like a piece of pie, or abandoned with 
>> great contempt like a piece of shit.
>> I am for art covered with bandages. I am for art that limps and rolls 
>> and runs and jumps.
>> I am for art that comes in a can or washes up on the shore.
>> I am for art that coils and grunts like a wrestler. I am for art that 
>> sheds hair.
>> I am for art you can sit on. I am for art you can pick your nose with or 
>> stub your toes on.
>> I am for art from a pocket, from deep channels of the ear, from the edge 
>> of a knife, from the corners of the mouth, stuck in the eye or worn on 
>> the wrist.
>> I am for art under the skirts, and the art of pinching cockroaches.
>> I am for the art of conversation between the sidewalk and a blind man’s 
>> metal stick.
>> I am for the art that grows in a pot, that comes down out of the skies 
>> at night, like lightning, that hides in the clouds and growls. I am for 
>> art that is flipped on and off with a switch.
>> I am for art that unfolds like a map, that you can squeeze, like your 
>> sweetie’s arm, or kiss like a pet dog. Which expands and squeaks like an 
>> accordion, which you can spill your dinner on like an old tablecloth.
>> I am for an art that you can hammer with, stitch with, sew with, paste 
>> with, file with.
>> I am for an art that tells you the time of day, or where such and such a 
>> street is.
>> I am for an art that helps old ladies across the street.
>> I am for the art of the washing machine. I am for the art of a 
>> government check. I am for the art of last war’s raincoat.
>> I am for the art that comes up in fogs from sewer holes in winter. I am 
>> for the art that splits when you step on a frozen puddle. I am for the 
>> worm’s art inside the apple. I am for the art of sweat that develops 
>> between crossed legs.
>> I am for the art of neck hair and caked teacups, for the art between the 
>> tines of restaurant forks, for the odor of boiling dishwater.
>> I am for the art of sailing on Sunday, and the art of red-and-white 
>> gasoline pumps.
>> I am for the art of bright blue factory columns and blinking biscuit 
>> signs.
>> I am for the art of cheap plaster and enamel. I am for the art of worn 
>> marble and smashed slate. I am for the art of rolling cobblestones and 
>> sliding sand. I am for the art of slag and black coal. I am for the art 
>> of dead birds.
>> I am for the art of scratching in the asphalt, daubing at the walls. I 
>> am for the art of bending and kicking metal and breaking glass, and 
>> pulling at things to make them fall down.
>> I am for the art of punching and skinned knees and sat-on bananas. I am 
>> for the art of kids’ smells. I am for the art of mama-babble.
>> I am for the art of bar-babble, tooth-picking, beer-drinking, 
>> egg-salting, in-sulting. I am for the art of falling off a barstool.
>> I am for the art of underwear and the art of taxicabs. I am for the art 
>> of ice-cream cones dropped on concrete. I am for the majestic art of dog 
>> turds, rising like cathedrals.
>> I am for the art of bread wet by rain. I am for the rat’s dance between 
>> floors. I am for the art of flies walking on a slick pear in the 
>> electric light. I am for the art of soggy onions and firm green shoots. 
>> I am for the art of clicking among the nuts when the roaches come and 
>> go. I am for the brown sad art of rotting apples.
>> I am for the art of meows and clatter of cats and for the art of their 
>> dumb electric eyes.
>> I am for the white art of refrigerators and their muscular openings and 
>> closings.
>> I am for the art of rust and mold. I am for the art of hearts, funeral 
>> hearts or sweetheart hearts, full of nougat. I am for the art of worn 
>> meat hooks and singing barrels of red, white, blue, and yellow meat.
>> I am for the art of things lost or thrown away, coming home from school. 
>> I am for the art of cock-and-ball trees and flying cows and the noise of 
>> rectangles and squares. I am for the art of crayons and weak, gray 
>> pencil lead, and grainy wash and sticky oil paint, and the art of 
>> windshield wipers and the art of the finger on a cold window, on dusty 
>> steel or in the bubbles on the sides of a bathtub.
>> I am for the art of teddy bears and guns and decapitated rabbits, 
>> exploded umbrellas, raped beds, chairs with their brown bones broken, 
>> burning trees, firecracker ends, chicken bones, pigeon bones, and boxes 
>> with men sleeping in them.
>> 
>> I am for the art of slightly rotten funeral flowers, hung bloody rabbits 
>> and wrinkly yellow chickens, bass drums and tambourines, and plastic 
>> phonographs.
>> I am for the art of abandoned boxes, tied like pharaohs. I am for an art 
>> of water tanks and speeding clouds and flapping shades.
>> I am for US Government Inspected Art, Grade A art, Regular Price art, 
>> Yellow Ripe art, Extra Fancy art, Ready-to-Eat art, Best-for-Less art, 
>> Ready-to-Cook art, Fully Cleaned art, Spend Less art, Eat Better art, 
>> Ham art, pork art, chicken art, tomato art, banana art, apple art, 
>> turkey art, cake art, cookie art…
>> 
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