Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Carousel of Transformation

For the first time in my life, I have a real studio, separate from my home. In a converted factory in the Jonction neighborhood of Geneva, surrounded by public transport bus storage, gypsies under a bridge, fellow artists and and the converging waters of the Rhone and Arve, I paint and draw and think (and occasionally hunt for jobs online with wifi). After joining the Atelier Act-Art and getting the space, I then had to think about a project to fill the space and time.
Carousels.They are like time machines to me, spinning to the past, to the possible, to the now. I remember the carousels of my childhood. There was one in this little mall on Old Georgetown Road in downtown Bethesda, a country fair style carousel. The Dentzel in Glen Echo Park. And then, when I was in college and began studying with David Passalacqua, a rekindled enjoyment began. I then also understood its rich history, how it was a war machine that became a child's plaything. How immigrants from Italy and Germany and other parts of Europe, mostly former cabinet makers, came to America and then carved carousels. How the first carousel is dated back to Babylonian times. And then, years later, I encountered the Alka in Croatia, a living history tournament of knights, a real, true carousel.
I want to create something that is both personal and reaches out to others, sparking enjoyment and fascination. What better vehicle than a carousel. These low-res iphone pics below show the first steps of my ideas for a carousel. Whether it will ever be actually built does not matter to me. Right now, I just want to play, to enjoy, and hope that others enjoy the fantasy of what I'm creating, a carousel of transformation.

A transformation mask for the head of the carousel: the horses heads open to reveal a human head.

The rider is the element that completes the carousel animal, that brings it to life.

A cube, symbol of the modern age, around the horses head. 

A horse with birds heads, opens to reveal a human head.

A horses head opens to reveal two birds and a human.

A birds head wrapped around a human head.

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