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Painted bronze (ale Cans, Ballentin)

Installation, 1960

Description of the artwork «Painted bronze (ale Cans, Ballentin)»

According to legend, Willem de Kooning once said: "That son of a bitch able to sell anything. Give him a couple of empty beer cans he will sell them". Jasper Johns recalled that when he gave these words in his head flashed the thought: "What a great idea for a sculpture!"

"Son of a bitch" was a gallery owner and art dealer Leo Castelli, who opened the way to "big art" for many pop artists. And, of course, that he successfully sold a sculpture of Jones, to perpetuate two cans of beer. This story is about how the artist created the art on the basis of garbage in the 60s loved to recount in Newspapers and magazines. Sculpture Jones, many considered nothing more than a cynical joke, but it is so simple?

Some critics believe that with a sculpture "Painted bronze" the artist spent the final boundary between their own creativity and abstract expressionism. The peace that belonged to Willem de Kooning, were emphatically masculine and machismo (and, of course, one hundred percent heterosexual). And in this world, among other things, was taken regularly to drink to the position of Reese in his favorite tavern, the abstract expressionists "Cedar Street Tavern". Jones preferred men and moderation in alcohol. At last, according to critics, in particular, is indicated by the fact that one of the cans in his sculpture remains closed.

You should pay attention to two points. First, the banks of ale standing on the pedestal, turning into a kind of monument to everyday household object. And secondly, for the manufacture of the sculpture Johns chose bronze is one of the most traditional materials of "high art". This work is often compared to ready-made, Marcel Duchamp whom Jones considered his guru. However, it is rather a readymade Vice versa. If Duchamp transformed into works of art ready-made items, Jones carefully reproduces copies of these items from the "noble material". He creates a work of art that pretends to be a waste.

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov
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About the artwork

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Art form: Installation

Style of art: Pop Art

Date of creation: 1960

Artwork in selections: 1 selection

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