Visual ArtCurrently Hanging: How to Turn 700 Perfect Spendable Dollars Into Nothing
by Jen Graves
on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM
This is how Sean Johnson felt during the last election.
Sean M. Johnson needed 70,000 pennies, or $700 worth. What the Seattle artist had in mind was a pyramid-shaped sculpture, but with the top mostly sliced off, leaving only a gently rising base—a shape that gives the suggestion of building up to something but doesn't. Johnson had originally envisioned a full pyramid, but when he built a test model, he found the shape so recognizable that it shut his mind down—he just went, Oh, right, pyramid, and stopped looking. Instead, he wanted a shape that draws the eye and keeps it, that isn't a known quantity, so that trying to see it whole, you have to break it down and consider its parts, too. The pennies would be the only material. They'd rest on each other unattached, like loose shingles
To get the pennies, he had to call ahead; it seems banks don't have vast penny populations just lying around. ...
Isn't it funny how people distrust contemporary artists more than banks?