Magazine article Sculpture

NEW ORLEANS: Christopher Saucedo

Magazine article Sculpture

NEW ORLEANS: Christopher Saucedo

Article excerpt

Good Children Gallery

"Out of my own great woe," wrote Heinrich Heine, "I make my little songs." Analogous to the German writer's transformation of "woe" into poetry, Christopher Saucedo turns natural disasters into prankish sculpture. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded his home in New Orleans, leaving the living space covered with "exotic, colorful mold." In 2011, soon after he moved to New York, Hurricane Sandy flooded his house and studio in Rockaway Beach, Queens. These catastrophes nonetheless are but grist for Sau - cedo's comic mill. Distant echoes of Pop art and of Magritte inform his latest series, an entertaining spoof of "good" water-in ubiquitous plastic bottles-as opposed to "bad" water-inundations that destroy.

Seeing a helicopter drop drinking water to people standing in filthy flood water during the aftermath of Katrina sparked Saucedo's focal image-oversize painted Styrofoam replicas of plastic water bottles, neither Fiji nor Perrier, but the generic Wal-Mart kind. Since these objects weigh little, they can also function as floating buoys and navigational devices during a flood. Each is attached by a long rope to an anchor-one a 300-pound boulder, the others real anchors-which provides a weighty contrast. Poly - styrene, Saucedo contends, is the "new Renaissance material," replacing marble and bronze. Lasting forever, it is, moreover, a not-so-subtle reminder of the non-biodegradable plastic "island" said to be swimming in the Pacific.

Saucedo continued his sculptural lampoon with a tall, 10-gallon glass container of water, which he terms a "demonstration tank"-the endtime flood has happened. …

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