In a galaxy long ago and far away…No, actually in Ohio about thirty years ago, in a small liberal arts college, a good friend (an art historian) made comment that the sculpture that I was finishing reminded him of a sculpture at the Albright Knox in Buffalo. The sculpture was by James Rosati and named “Big Red”. My work was small, say 40 inches, and did not remind me of the Rosati, but it was red. Since my friend liked this so much and since he was (is) my friend, I gave him the sculpture that I cleverly named…”Little Red”. The sculpture has a place in the back of his Massachusetts home.
In 2003, as I worked on this sculpture, one of the few absolutes was that it would be red. As the piece neared completion, I realized that it did remind me of the “Big/Little Red” tale. What shall I call this piece? I knew that the title I could not use was the name Rosati gave to his work long ago. I began to consider how I could entitle the sculpture and have it take its place in this esteemed lineage. The first thought that came to mind was to use the same name, just not in English. Ahh, but John Henry had already completed “Grand Rouge”. There I was…late again. Perhaps, I thought, I could draw on my German heritage and have “Miene Grosse Rotte”, but as good as it seemed, it did not seem good enough.
Finally I queried out loud, “What will I call my big red sculpture?”. IN all likelihood, I just needed to hear it said, but it was done…”My Big Red”. As it stands (no pun intended), it is not that big. It is not like the Rosati. It is neither French nor German. It is not like “Little Red”, but it is mine, and it is the largest sculpture that I have made.
I hope you find this personal tale (and the sculpture) interesting. I hope that the sculpture is visually provoking. By the way, be sure to stand under it and look up as it fills your periphery.