APRIL 16, 2015

Where Will It take Me

In yesterday’s post I showed a photograph of this statuette and talked about how desirable it was, but not for me. What I didn’t say was that the guy also had this tin chimney cover, and that that was the thing that interested me. Now how strange is that? Why the damn chimney top of all things? I can’t explain it, but I found myself walking away from it, and then turning around and going back to look harder, handle it, and finally, overcome by some mystery inherent in the object, some strange power, I bought it.

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As I have mentioned before, my new interest in still lives has me seeing things. This tinsmith’s work, and after all, the thing was meant to go way up on a roof top where nobody really looks at it, yet it has about it a kind of madness and image quality that suggested to me something of the dictatorial power of Mussolini. Even the profile feels like Il Duce.

Mussolini

Look at the force projected by the helmet-like face and the warrior’s plume, which in this case is simply a wind catcher, so that the draught from the fireplace below will flow smoothly upwards as the wind turns the cap. My first impulse was to read arrogance and force into the inanimate tin pot. From that moment on I was blinded to the actuality of the thing itself, and all my first images seemed to be about scale and power. Where will it take me?

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