Friday, June 20, 2008

This Artist Means Business

"What My Dad Gave Me..." That's the name of Chris Burden's new sculpture, a 'toy skyscraper' of geometry on display at Rockefeller Center... It's a 65-foot structure made entirely from toy construction parts... Its 1 million stainless steel parts are replicas of Erector set pieces.

Here's an up-close sneak peak of this new work:

DSC04491Burden is a Boston-bored, California-raised American sculptor and performance artist.

On the far left is 'Transfixed,' the 1974 piece that had him 'nailed' to the back of a Volkswagen.

In the 70s he gained fame and controversy through a series of performances in which 'personal danger as artistic expression was central.'

What does this mean? Well, in 'Shoot', he had his assistant actually shoot him in his left arm from a distance of fifteen feet (results pictured below).

He was taken to a psychiatrist after his episode.

In 1978, he settled in for a 27-year run as art professor at UCLA. Oddly, he resigned from this gig three years ago in a controversy that echoed that of 'Shoot..'

It concerned how a student was 'handled' after his classroom performance that allegedly also involved a loaded gun...

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