Looking at a Sculpture by Ander Krisar at Meijer Gardens


A photograph of Krisar’s work is impressive,
but seeing it for real is mind-arresting.

When I first came upon  this untitled ArtPrize entry by Anders Krisar, I just stared. Then I circled from left to right, took a few photographs and stared some more. Looking at the pale, sculpted, naked body of a young person whose one half was sitting and holding hands with its other half was mind-bending.  When I started thinking again, I first thought it was beautiful. Then I thought it was revolting, even corpse-like. I thought it was a boy; I thought it was a girl; then I thought it was sexless.

I am not clear what the artist intended to convey with the 3-D piece displayed at Meijer Gardens, but I have had plenty of my own thoughts.

It had me thinking how I often feel like two people: the person I actually am, and the person I sometimes dream I could be. It had me thinking how easy it is to feel fractured by life, as if life’s complex demands cut us into pieces.

Critic Paul B. Franklin reviewed this and several other Krisar creations, some more disturbing than this one. In this work he finds a more painful message than I see in my reflections:  “This piece literalizes the often-violent mental fractures that individuals can endure, a reality that haunts the artist, whose father is schizophrenic and whose mother is bipolar.”It had me thinking how questions about sexual identity seem unsolvable. It had me thinking how beautiful the human body is.

Most of all, it had me pondering how there is only one person with whom we spend every minute of our lives—ourself—so it is wise to warmly take that person by the hand as your very best companion.

I have written on other ArtPrize entries:
Cruel Fences: Four Entries at ArtPrize 2017
ArtPrize Grand Prizes for ‘A. Lincoln’ and ‘Heartside Community Meal’
See several other pictures of ArtPrize at my Facebook Page
Learn all about ArtPrize

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