Sunday, October 30, 2011

Street Cred - I Got It

I had to re-build my smaller rock sculpture at the Wynnewood Train Station.  As I'm putting it together, I noticed that one of the rocks had been "tagged" with magic marker.  I think "Wow, someone put street art on my street art".  It's doesn't really stand out much, which is why I took the close-up photo.  And you'll just have to trust me that I didn't do it myself.  I doubt that I have that sort of talent.  Is he trying to take credit for my work?  Should I be signing these rock sculptures?  Then someday someone can say, "See, I have a rock sculpture signed by the artist himself!".  (Or have I taken this a bit too far?)

The bottom picture is of the re-built sculpture at the Oak Hill Condos.  I doubt that it is still up, as the gardeners were using they're leaf blowers to clean the area while I was there.  They tend to not make an effort to avoid knocking into the sculptures.  They probably just don't notice them.                                                                                         

It matters not.  The sculpture is down since the Nor'easter went through yesterday.  It's too cold and snowy for me to go out and re-build.  Once the snow melts and the weather becomes balmier, I'll sally forth to restore all my traumatized sculptures.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fame and Fortune Come My Way

The man in the photo is Luke Madeira.  He's taking a stop-action photo montage of me building (re-building, actually) the rock sculpture at Ardmore Avenue.  When it was completed, he interviewed me about my Rogue Rocks.  (I had neglected to tell him that I'm a much better rock sculptor than I am an interviewee.)  He's going to have a hell of a job of editing.  I'm much better speaking chair-side (dental chair, of course) than I am to a camera. 
Luke had seen my sculptures and thought it would be an interesting subject to film and offer to the world.  The fact that this co-incides with the capture and killing of Moammar Gadhafi is totally unrelated.  (Though I've no doubt Gadhafi would prefer the news were about my rock sculptures, as I'm, obviously, having a more enjoyable weekend than he is.)
Yes, (enough about Gadhafi), so we moved the site to the left about six feet to start with an empty plot.  You can see the previous sculpture was knocked down last night in the first shot.  (I found two pennies, a nickel and a quarter in the rubble.)  I moved the rocks one by one to the new site with Luke snapping away.  It's actually easier for me to build these quickly.  I get into a rhythm and find that the rocks dictate where they want to be.  (The Rock Whisperer lives!)  But I slowed down some for Luke.
When the sculpture was completed. he did the interview.  (I seriously hope the editing can make me look knowledgeable and charming.)
I've just gotten off the phone with Luke.  He said some of the interview doesn't sound good because of wind noise.  We're meeting tomorrow morning to re-do the interview, using a better mike.  Who said, "There are no second chances"?  (I think it was me.)   Let's see, another chance to sound like an idiot who goes out and piles rocks up or a chance to sound like Alistair Cooke (cool British commentator) who'd probably have nothing to do with rocks.  I'm stoked.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ups and Downs of the Ardmore Ave. Sculpture

This rock sculpture is one of my largest and most complex.  It can be (and is) re-built in many varied and different ways (almost daily).  I've thought about putting up a "nanny" camera to catch a look at who knocks it down, but "who" and "why" don't really interest me.  I'm just happy to have the work in such a prominent location.  Every time I re-build it, I get to interact with the people walking and driving by.  Their curiosity and positive responses do wonders for my ego.  (So, how big is big?)  Well, "inflated" could be the right word, but let's not quibble over something so fragile.  (My ego, not the sculptures.)  Today, someone in one of the cars stopped for the traffic light, took a photo of the sculpture.  If they had told me they were going to do that, I would have gladly posed next to it.  They're probably sending it into the New York Times.  I'm sure I'll hear from the NYT soon.  (Like I don't send them photos every week myself.)
Anyway, I've also been getting help from the area residents in the re-buildings.  Sometimes they add rocks, and a couple of times there have been coins placed on the rocks.  Hey, starving artists need to eat, too. 

When I had finished re-building the sculpture and was in the car leaving, a Lower Merion police car drove into the lot next to me.  ("Great", I thought, "I get to make the local news again.  Only this time it would be in the weekly police report in the Ardmore-Wynnewood Patch".)  Fortunately, he was only curious about the sculptures, and not the creator.  I gave him one of my cards (yes, I really do have cards with my name on them), and a brief description of what it's all about.  Maybe I can get them to stand guard over them at night, so there will be fewer "downs" and thus fewer re-builds. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Police Encounter

It's been a while since the rock sculpture at City Ave. and Conshohocken State Road was knocked down.  I'd actually become comfortable that it would stand the trials of time and location forever.  Ah, foolish me.  Today I went by on my way to my mother's place and was shocked to find it knocked over.  After seeing Mom, I returned to the scene of the crime to re-build the sculpture.  I had it almost complete and was making slight improvements when I looked up and saw a Lower Merion police car with an officer staring at me. 
How much trouble could I be in?  (I mean these are MY rocks!)  Yet, the property they're on belongs to someone else.  I casually stroll over to the officer's window and try to explain what I was doing.  (Like what the hell am I doing?)  Why I'm gardening!  I have on my gardening gloves and I'm weeding and cleaning out the small island in which I've built the rock sculpture. 
It's all good with officer Frank.  And since I'm a citizen of Lower Merion, we have a nice discussion about everything except politics and trespassing.  Frank is really a decent guy (and probably a better than decent cop).  He warns me to be careful as the neighborhood isn't quite as nice as where I live.  He shakes my hand and heads off to find more credible criminals.  (I have really lousy cred in the 'hood.)
I, also, went back to Media Lima Dental to re-build the sculpture there.  It ended up with fewer rocks, but being more stable.  I'm working on better stability, so I don't end up re-building over and over... 

Which is why I've thrown in a couple of pictures of the sculpture at Ardmore Ave. and Lancaster Ave.  The same person/people knock it down every night.  And I re-build it every morning.  I'm meeting a lot of people who like my sculptures, since I'm right there every morning re-building this one.  (Isn't the definition of crazy "doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result")?  Well, there I go.