I’ve received several requests recently to undertake commissions for wire figures of musicians. Great you might think! But a few minutes on the drawing board sees me frustrated that every design I come up with is cheesy.
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
When I look for inspiration from other sculptors who’ve attempted to tackle this subject matter, my despair barely lifts. Whether it’s a statue of John Lennon outside the pretend Cavern or legendary rocker Rory Gallagher in Ballyshannon, all too often the results are grotesquely sentimental or twee. Sometimes both. Sorry, but it’s true.
I look instead to the music itself.
Given the choice I want to be in The Clash not The Boomtown Rats…
I want to be Bowie not Paul Nicholas…
I don’t want to Dance with the Captain, for God’s sake, I want to know whether there’s Life on Mars!
Give me Eric’s, home of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Mighty Wah, with its appalling toilets. I don’t want to spend valuable time in a recreated tourist attraction passed off as the Cavern. I digress but I hope you get the point.
Take a look at that sculpture outside the new Cavern and ask yourself whether John Lennon would have given it floor space? And that’s brilliant compared to the giant Beatles sculpture outside the 8th Wonder Brewery in Houston!
The Ballad of John and Yoko
I find myself back at the drawing board trying to retrace the musical steps from the delta bluesmen and women to the Rolling Stones, from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan.
And don’t get me started on Ed Sheeran, I have to block that thought before I explode.
How do you begin to tap into a stream of originality to create something that has meaning? Damn it and as Lennon himself would say: “Christ you know it ain’t easy, You know how hard it can be, The way things are going, They’re going to crucify me…..”