Christina Binstock Artist Lecture at Denver Art Museum

Christina Binstock

Artist Lecture at Denver Art Museum


The Giant Blue Bear

            Lawrence Argent went to school at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia and received his Bachelors degree in sculpture and for his masters he went to Rinehart School of Sculpture, Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland and received his Masters of Fine Arts. His early works are small enough to fit in a gallery and many time s focused on juxtaposing of images. Also during his early work he collected many things and turned them into art pieces and they where usually ordinary items that most people would not give a second look.

In one of his early work ha juxtaposes used motor oil and soap shavings. Above that motor oil he hangs an old pair of used boxing gloves and laying on the soap he has a perfectly carved cowboy hat, carved from soap. In this work he juxtaposes cleanliness, and clean smell next to something that is dirty and had a terrible smell. Another early project was “Cahones.” It is made up of two red street sweepers or car wash bristles. He made these with the birth of his first son. The reason he called them “Cahones” because “one hangs higher than the other,” he said. With a lot of his work he has a sense of humor associated with the work. We can see this sense of humor in one of his installation with a chair. One of the first questions he asked himself was, “what kind of a history would this chair have?” To answer this question he places a video camera under the chair and people sat on it a video is projected on the wall of these people sitting down.

Later, he was able to create his first public site specific art work. You can actually visit Denver University and see it. Giant lips are placed on the ground. When you sit on them a sensor sees that you are there. A sound will start at a low lever and will slowly become louder. The point of this installation is to make you listen and pay attention to something you may not pay attention to. Many times the sound is a lecture from other departments rather than just the art department or a conversation that you may not ever listen to. When he does this sit  specific work he really takes into consideration the environment and the people who will be walking around the space.

The Convection Center wanted an art piece that reflects Colorado. With this in mind Argent asked himself, “What is Colorado?” his idea was simple. Colorado continuously plays with the line between wilderness and the urban setting so why not have a bear peering into the convention center itself this was the art is not just a form of decoration but is integrated into the building. This big blue bear is forty feet tall and it meant to be seen as a fun piece of art. He did not want the formal qualities to stop people from interacting with the piece. He also wanted those who do not live in Denver to walk away with an experience and an idea of Colorado. The bear looks to be very curious and playful so all ages can enjoy the art it can be understood in many different ways like how we impact the environment, or how art can be fun and playful.

I really enjoyed Argent’s work he truly studies the area that he places his art. None of the work is accidental and is supposed to reflect the area that it is placed in. Argent has work placed all over Colorado and also has some pieces that are in airports like “Leap” at Sacramento Airport, Sacramento, California and universities like “Your Move” at University of Houston, Houston, Texas each of these pieces have ben thought through very carefully and there is a reason why they are where they are. Leap

It’s your move



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