After Yentob making an idiot out of himself touring art galleries with Jaz Z, trying desperately to grasp “ye old Hip Hop”, it was refreshing to catch BBC’s Imagine get its focus back on art with a programme about sculptor/artist Richard Serra.
Serra’s work really strikes a chord with me as I love anything minimal, bold, industrial and stark, so it was great to hear about his work in more depth. Like most of my favorite art and design his work is all about the process and material. Not just the process that was used to create his pieces, but also the process of being a part of his works. Not just the material the piece is made of, but taking the given material and pushing the boundaries of whats physically, chemically and gravitationally possible.
I suppose I love his work because its as much engineering as it is art. The head engineer at Pickhan Heavy Fabrication Germany, where most of his works are created, calculated all the sums to make sure one of Serras’ 65 tonne freestanding steel sculptures wouldn’t topple over , was still very cautious about walking through the struture. I think it’s the way that Serras’ large steel structures make you feel vulnerable ans cautious that make them so spectacular.
Listening to his life story was also very interesting. When an aspiring artist in France his partner in crime was none other than Mr Phillip Glass, who happens to be one of my favorite composers, which further enhanced my enthusiasm for him. I think with Serras’ work it really is a case of seeing it in the flesh. I’ve seen a couple and it really gives you a sense of his other works to have seen t least one. So go investigate where your nearest nearest Serra piece is and have a good look!