Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Art of Social Conscience

 ON THIS SITE STOOD

An on-going art project by Norm Magnusson


I've been making these sculptures for over a decade and it's been an incredible series to work on. It started one day while I was having lunch with an artist friend who asked what I was working on. (Most artists are good that way.) I told her this idea I was bouncing around for a sculpture that would subvert the form of the blue and yellow historical markers that are all around NY State, but instead of commemorating an actual historical event, they would comment on contemporary political and social issues. I thought it was a kinda ok idea but she really really loved it, and a few months later, asked me if I would make one for this exhibition she was curating. Well, I did and right away the project took off, with more gallery shows and museum shows and reviews in the NY Times and the whole kit and kaboodle. I'm currently working on a plan to install one of these 'historical' markers in each rest area of the NY State Thruway, but until then, continue to create and install them in venues all around the region.

Directly below are a couple planned or potential sculptures, and below that are most of the existing sculptures I've made over the years.

(Click on any image to see it bigger.)

PLANNED SCULPTURES

Above: Photoshop mock-up of proposed sculpture. Detail below:

Above: Photoshop mock-up of broze plaque suitable for the side of a building.


EXISTING SCULPTURES


Above: "Unarmed Black Men", 2020, 96" x 36" x 4", 
cast aluminum and acrylic paint. Installed in Queens, NY

Below: Currently on view at the Opalka Gallery, Sage College, Albany, NY.


Above: "Pandemic Heroes" 2020, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint. Installed at the Opalka Gallery.


Photo of the artist by Craig McCord for an article in Slow Films magazine. February, 2016


"Alice Rose" 2011, cast bronze, 12" x 14"


"Jane King" 2007, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.




"Belakwa, NY" 2010, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Beth Whise" 2007, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Big box store" 2007, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.




"Dy Dwyer" 2010 cast bronze, 12" x 14"



"Ian Wikno" 2007, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.




"Illegal immigrants" 2008, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Both sides" 2015 front, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.

"Both sides" 2015 back, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.

"Karen DeWitt" 2005, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Ken Oask" 2010, cast bronze, 12" x 14"

"Matt Lucash" 2006, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Robert Oknos" 2006, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.

"Cass Nadar" 2018, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.

(Cass Nadar is an anagram of Cassandra, who, in Greek mythology, was given the gift of prophecies but then, pissing off some god or another, given the curse, the attendant curse, that no one would believe her prophecies.)



"Rob't Hass" 2008, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.


"Ry Brauer" 2007, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.

"Meri Green" 2014, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.



"Scottie Webb" 2014, 96" x 36" x 4", cast aluminum and acrylic paint.



Snipes. Posters. Wheat pasted or self-adhesived onto the walls.

In the course of a few months of covid 2020, several different people reached out to me on instagram and asked if I minded if they posted my stuff up around NYC and asked if I would send them nice big JPG files of the art so they could make a nice big print out of it. Well, hells yeah!!!  So I sent them the files and they went to town. Obviously, I can't divulge their names but one is a journalist, one is a college professor, one is a retired record label guy, and one works for an established non-profit arts org. I'm not often involved in anything even remotely collaborative and so this whole thing was a blast. Anyway, here below are some pics pulled from fb and ig and locations (if they shared them):




Across from Methodist Hospital, Park Slope

Unknown location (Brooklyn?)

Prospect Park

Park Slope

Prospect Park (Empire and Ocean Ave entrance)

(Detail of above)

Prospect Park

Prospect Park

27th & 1st

NYU Medical Center, First ave.

Somewhere in Chelsea. No further details given.

Somewhere in the W. Village. No further details given.


7 Train subway station. Queens.

Some random truck (unknown location)





Next thing you know, these graffiti snipes got covered on a local Brooklyn blog and then got picked up by an online magazine, Laughing Squid (click link or see below) and then this idea for a sculpture took off on social media and many many people said they wanted to donate to help make it real and others said that "every town needs one" and comments such as that and so on, and I started to think maybe I could actually raise enough money to make one and I had a big fundraiser and raised enough money to make 2 of them!! Thank you all who contributed!