Exceptional art has a WOW! Factor that can’t be ignored. Whatever the message, it reaches out and grabs you. First, it captures the eye, and then the mind: visually and symbolically.
On my last trip to New Orleans this sculpture, entitled Karma certainly grabbed me and my camera.
Korean artist Do Ho Suh created the piece for the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the shiny, multi-faceted, stainless steel figures, made a nuanced B&W photo.
For me, the sculpture is appealing in both design and concept. The piggy-backed men, each covering the eyes of the man below, create the illusion of a human tower stretching into infinity. The graceful curve of the tower and the diminishing size of the figures (all 98 of them) appear to go on forever; exactly like the Buddhist beliefs of reincarnation and karma. Good intentions and good deeds create good karma in this and the next life, and bad actions achieve the opposite. My read on the covered eyes is that it’s impossible to see your previous or future life, but karma forges how your life will be.
This sculpture makes the point with many voices; good or bad – you choose.
This is the final post in the B&W Challenge. Thanks again to Carol at Which Way Now 101 for the invitation. It’s been a fun change of pace for us, and hopefully, for our readers as well.
Wishing you good karma,
P.S. For our readers up north, there’s a bronze version of this sculpture at the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY. If you get a chance, drop by in July when the snow has melted and check it out. And have a look at Suh’s amazing and equally impressive tornado of little orange men.