Saturday, June 13, 2009
One is tempted to go for the obvious pun and say that when it came to art, the French sculptor known as César (full name César Baldaccini) was all thumbs. Actually César was a leading figure in the Nouveau Réalisme movement and had a long career sculpting all sorts of things (including crushed cars and giant boobs.) But today he's best known for his giant thumbs.
In 1965, César was invited to take part in an art show about hands. He responded by making a cast of his own thumb and enlarging the scale. By the time he died in 1998 his giant thumbs were decorating public places all over the world. In the top photo you can see one of his giant thumbs in Paris. The second photo shows César's thumb in Shanghai and the bottom photo shows his thumb at the Clos Pegase Winery in California. He made his thumbs in various materials, including Baccarat crystal, stainless steel, brass, aluminum and pink marble. They are all incredibly detailed, even including his thumbprint.
Looking at César's work, I always think of Hawkeye Pierce's ode to the thumb from M*A*S*H: "That amazing device that has transported more students to college than the Boston Post Road. Ideal for sucking, especially as a baby. Lauded in song and story as the perfect instrument for pulling out a plum... Or in the case of the Caesars, holding it down for the gladiator to die, or holding it up, which means, 'See you later, at the orgy.' My friends, for getting up and down the pike, in your pie, in your eye, I give you the thumb."
Got a tip for Monsters and Rockets? Want to contribute to the site? Send us an email.
Technocrati tags: [César Baldaccini]