A Balanced Union By John Eden
Four years ago I spent a week in Las Vegas working with Jack Brogan on a marble sculpture by Henry Moore. Jack and I were putting the on-site finishing touches on a restoration job that he had done earlier that year. During that time I watched Maya Lin's "Silver River" being installed in an adjoining building. Lin who did the Vietnam War Memorial, had taken a topographical digital rendering of the Colorado River as it snaked its way through the Grand Canyon, had it printed using 3D technology, cast it in high polish silver, flipped it on its side and suspended it like the sword of Damocles, high above the public place.
It reinforced my long-held opinion about art that equally
incorporates the conceptual and the formal into one. For me, great art distills the essence of an idea, then frames it in a spectacular visual poem, thereby ‘transforming something common into something quite special.’ To understand Lin’s piece, one must ask: what one thing has made Las Vegas possible? The answer of course is the Colorado River; the obvious element of water that makes everything in the desert possible and secondarily, the electricity generated from the Colorado River's Boulder Dam. The Colorado is truly the river of life for that city and the artist ‘nailed it’ in a spectacular way. Prior to that trip I had created a self-portrait of myself using CT scans that were made during my treatments for Head & Neck cancer. I used medical technology from digital files of those scans to create an exact copy of my skull and cast them in various materials including stainless steel and pigmented clear cast resin to make light of my own mortality.
“Nor Are We Afraid” 2009-2010
“Faux Self-portrait with Dimple” 2009-2010