Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Burnt Out

Everyday at the moment I pass these impressive sculptures. Usually I just pass on by, but once in a while I stop or slow down and have a think about what they mean - when art does that to you know it is good.

They seem simple enough - a couple of giant matchsticks about 5 or 6 metres in height - but like all art should, they mean a whole lot more.

They are of course Brett Whiteley's Matchsticks outside the Art Gallery of NSW. And the reason I love these beasts, without going into sentiments and artsy fartsy talk, is that even though Whiteley was going through depression and drug abuse at the time of creating these monsters he could still step back realise this fact and put it into this creation. Whiteley the fiery red head, literally (or sculpturally as it is) burnt out. (They are also a tad phallic which could sum up Whiteley as well).

The other reason to love them is just for their simpleness and sheer size - they would have been fun to make. I can imagine Whiteley hacking into these huge beams with a chain saw and then hitting one of them with a flame thrower and charcoaling it up. Art can be cool.

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