Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 13, 2011

Saturday's sketch of the "Laughing Statues" in Morton Park. The statues, called “A-Maze-in Laughter”, depict a series of laughing men sculpted in the image of Beijing-based artist Yue Minjun, a leading figure in China’s ‘Cynical Realism’ movement, which began in the 1990s. The movement grew out of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, in which emphasis on individual expression broke away from the dominant collective mindset of the era. 14 figures each standing roughly 8' tall sculpted in 7 different positions, with bared teeth and squinty eyes. The piece made its Canadian debut as part of the Vancouver Biennale, a citywide public art exhibit that will feature Minjun’s work and those of 30 other artists until June 2011. The “A-Maze-in Laughter” exhibit also served as the site of the Biennale’s official launch on October 27, 2009. Although initially the sculptures were to be in Morton Park (junction of Beach Ave. / Denman St. / Davie St.) until June 2011, they are still here being enjoyed by all.
"Laughing Statues"
[Click mage for larger view]

The photo does not show the sketch well as the subtle pencil marks do not come through well. The photo also does not pick up the colours as clearly as I expected. It looks much better in my "Vancouver West-end Sketchbook".

For me this was a tough sketch to do.. so many people wandering around in the way, and it was hot in the afternoon. I ended up sketching the statues first in pencil because the did not move. I was going to sketch them as separate groups of sculptures, but then quickly decided to show all 14 statutes as a double page view. After sketching the statues, I then added the people overtop as they arrived one-by-one. Ha! People certainly like to play with them, hanging all sorts of stuff from the hands. Not just kids but adults too. Finally I added the foliage in the background and the far background. The colour was added last.

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