Monumental Inversions: George Washington, 2016

wood, hand blown glass, steel • 99 x 88 x 32 inches

About the Work

This sculpture is the prototype of an ongoing series entitled Monumental Inversions, investigates the national tradition of monument making and commemoration, and is emblematic of our struggle as a society to conform our realities to the ideal. This body of work attempts to reconcile the paradox between the nostalgia implicit in national monuments and the tragic narratives of individual and collective disenfranchisement that these monuments to our political elite so often ignore. A life-size impression of George Washington seated on a horse is carved into blocks of wood that have been visibly burnt. Molten glass has been hand blown directly into these molds, cracking and charring the surface. What emerges are sculptural distortions of the original reference. These distorted glass replicas are placed both in the original cavities of the sculpture and on the floor directly in front of it, as if they had just fallen out of position. Monumental Inversions exist as absences or impressions of national heroes emptied of their deified mythologies. They reflect both positive and negative implications of the lives of these mortal men.