Tuesday, July 01, 2008

R.J.'s Last Piece

So, here it is,
my father's last, unfinished piece,
"Lady and the Tiger"

He designed it on his computer,
and Danny Leonard did most of the carving.

(one of the last alterations he made was
to have Danny cut off the tiger's head
and replace it with one slightly smaller)

We might as well walk all the way around it,
I think that's what he was most proud of:
360 degrees of design.

(which he continuously told
anyone who would listen
was greatly facilitated by using a computer)

I don't really understand his fascination
over the last decade
with women mating with large animals.

Though I realize it's a somewhat Classical theme
(Ovid's Metamorphoses)

But Ovid is something you read, then put away.

Why would anyone,
other than himself,
want to include these images in their life
on a daily basis?

What possible life could these pieces have
outside of an art museum ?

But if they ever do make it into a museum,
it will have to be one in the distant future.

More, perhaps, they are a monument
to himself,
and his own
magnificent isolation

What a long way
he's come from here:

Perhaps that contrast,
between pieces made 50 years apart,
tells the story
of the American experiment
in the last half of the 20th C.


Blogger Robert said...

There is a poem about the tail of the tiger, I am sure Marley will know it!

He has met several important measures of a sculpture, the first is that it has strength in the round; no weak side. Your sequence of pictures adds to its shock value!

He I am sure was right to reduce the size of the head.

He was true to his art to the last and fits well into the 20c.

Judging by his works and pictures of his home he is a great spirit lost.

My condolences to you, your Mother and family.

July 03, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thanks for your comment, Robert.

I confess that Mountshang is feeling a little stunned by all this -- sort of like a cartoon character I once saw -- who was living on a small tropic island -- but then the island began to move -- and he realized that he was living on the back of a giant whale.

So I haven't been quite as active a blogger (or blog reader) as usual.

July 04, 2008  
OpenID suburbanlife said...

Chris - I hope you keep this sculpture in your family, with eventual disposition to a museum when you or any grandchildren can no longer care for it safely. Your father made a success of designing it in the round and it's amazing he did so by computer when he could no longer wield the carving implements, something many aged sculptors have to find a way to realize projects with aid from younger artisans.
Your father must have been a hell of a man! And he was a committed sculptor ( having been shown this by your previous blog entries) with an overriding aesthetic vision.
My condolences to all of your family. G and GEM

July 04, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thankyou, G and Gem.

Yes, will end up keeping a lot of his work somewhere -- but there's an entire house full -- so it presents a real challenge.

I'd rather just send it on it's way - wherever it might bring people enjoyment.

July 05, 2008  
Anonymous Amanda J. Sisk said...

Kind regards to you at this time.

July 05, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Perhaps an obsession with women mating with power-filled, life-suffused animals is just as much a cry and resounding clang in the face of old age and mortality as Yeats, going for monkey gland surgery in order to increase his virility (with women and with his alluring Muse.)

As Thomas said, "Do not go gentle into that good night."

July 22, 2008  

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