A pink taxi

A pink taxi

September 27, 2010

Crayons and Clocks

We constantly use objects and produce and consume them. Industrialization has made them banal and accessible. They become trivial to each new generation. I am a 70s child and certain objects remain unique, and a few of them are fetish.

Arman, the French artist from Nice, recently deceased, has placed the object at the center of his art. His favorite one is the violin. He has painted them in all colors, accumulated them in sculpture, painting or even taken the real violins and broken them in pieces to celebrate the pieces of wood.

Unlike Damien Hirst, who was undoubtly inspired by him and who accumulates, in a hygenic, esthetic order that is closer to todays mentality, Arman was a deconstructionist.

Breaking the very fragile musical instrument is not an act of revolt, it is a glorification of the object. His message may be: "the violin in all its forms is beautiful, the one that is perfectly tuned is the same one that I just broke. I broke it so you could see it's intestines. I gathered the bits and pieces in this epoxy cube so that you can keep it forever. In fact the plastic won't break and you will keep these broken bits forever."

Daily, I wake up to the accumulation of alarm clocks by Arman, standing gracefully in its plexiglass, on my bedside. These silent alarm clocks are the traditional round ones with two bells on either side. He has taken twenty identical ones and broken them, as anyone would dream to do when awaken by its "Drrrrrrrring!" Their guts, springs and mechanisms are out, their arrows are flying all over the place, the quadrants now useless.  Arman humors me early every morning.

I love crayons, Caron D'Arch Swiss crayons. My uncle, Amo Bahram, the husband of my second aunt, once gifted me with a set, kept in their tin thin rectangular boxes. Till this day, I remember how the colors were aligned. I also always remember my uncle's generosity. I considered the crayons to be beautiful and precious. This is why I would like to embed them in plastic as a beautiful ornament to admire. This is obviously not my idea but Arman's because he has a few pieces of those crayons, preserved in the "sacrophage" of plastic, accumulated in the hundreds, and colorful like a rainbow. At every art fair or art auction, I score for this piece of art: the accumulation of Swiss crayons.

Arman has accumulated golf Ts, paint tubes, toy planes and toy cars. He has accumulated chupa chup lollipops too. That work signing him of with certainty as a very talented pop artist.

2 comments:

  1. I was disapointed to read in Le Monde on my return from Paris that I missed a first time Arman retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. Apparently, the musuem and the artist were not on the best terms and the artist held a deep grudge against the curator because he didn't recognise his genius and never exhibited him.

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