Other Artists

Bachelor Farm

“Bachelor Farm” is the name of my friend D’s home in South St. Paul. It’s a workshop, music studio, garden, classic car garage, and a retreat for artful loafing. When our mutual friend J visits from North Carolina the two bachelors spend time on a variety of construction and recreational projects (which may or may not involve sling shots and tomatoes.) Their most recent collaboration was the transformation of an old tin shed into a Bachelor Farm banner of sorts. The letters were snipped and and fastened to a wire to create a sign worthy of mass distribution on Pinterest. A hand was also sliced in the process, though thankfully stitches were not required. There’s a casual order at Bachelor Farm, as though its owner has paid attention to the arrangement of things, but not so carefully as to get stressed out about it. Unlike the the domestic inadequacy that flipping through Better Homes and Gardens might beget, the Bachelor Farm reassures that a very small amount of money and whatever time you are inclined to spend will improve your surroundings.

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Bridget Beck

As the mother of a young child I spend a lot of time in playgrounds. Most of them are uniformly unattractive: the sterile plastic Tupperware-like parts, the ditches of mulch worn away under the swings, the most vulnerable features often spoiled by vandals. Bridget Beck’s sculptures are an antidote to these aesthetically challenged play structures. Her recycled metal and wood constructions feature ladders, ramps, desks, benches, bird houses, caves, swings, and sliding poles. I imagine the word “whimsical” has been used to describe to Bridget’s work by well-meaning folks. The brightly colored doo-dads and the spaceship quality of the pieces overall certainly inspire whimsy, but a touch of chaos gives this work an added edge – perhaps literally. Because these things were not made by a safety committee there is an element of risk: there are places to trip and the slide might land you a little faster than expected. If you have the good fortune to enjoy one of her play structures with a child you might notice an interesting leveling effect – children will be challenged to do some serious imaginative work and and adults will shed responsibilities and get back a piece of childhood. You might also be inspired to reconsider your own cast-offs and have some transformative fun with them.

The sculpture below, “Poetry Studio,” was completed in June 2012 at Franconia Sculpture Park.

My daughter’s drawing of “Poetry Studio.”

Michael Richards at the Brooklyn Museum

From the “Tuskegee Airmen” Series, 1997

MOCA, Pacific Design Center

Me “wearing” a sculpture by Miranda July in Los Angeles.

Showboat Marionettes

Ramsey County Fair

Malt Shop Madness

Ramsey County Fair 4H Performance Scenery

Davey and Goliath


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