October 2004 Views
Omphale to exhibit Borsvold sculpture
CALUMET -- Calumet sculptor Gordon Borsvold is the grand champion of recycling. "I got a lot of neat junk at Erkkila's auto repair yesterday," he remarked recently. The objects he collects form the basis for his whimsical and provocative art.
With artistic materials such as rusted out automobile gas tanks, Borsvold thumbs his nose at the military industrial complex. Car parts, old water softener parts, a plethora of pipes and nails, an old tractor seat, dissected Juicy Juice bottles, and bottle caps in various sizes may be junk to
some, but they provide a wealth of shapes and textures for Borsvold's art.
"I love rust," says Borsvold, who grew up in Detroit and has a background in industrial design and advertising.
Besides the junkyard, the hobby shop provides some materials, such as Styrofoam balls (which appear in his sculptures in brilliant colors).
His sculptures are more mechanical and geometric than organic. While rust is at the center of some sculptures, others have hard surfaces and vibrant colors. These are the pieces one would like to hang in one's living room.
The wit of Borsvold's work is its great strength. Bottoms of juice bottles in a colorful array mounted on glass suggest a pastiche of stained glass. Another humorous piece includes a large tube from a water softener.
There is a kinetic quality to some sculptures, which literally vibrate. Curly prongs quiver. These pieces have an interactive element.
Borsvold jokes, "If you break it, you buy it; I have to pay for my van."
Like all comic art, Borsvold's work makes a complicated statement. Yes, we live in a throwaway culture. The pride of our industrial achievement is rusting around us while we deplete the earth's resources. The demanding labor of the manual worker is commemorated only by rust.
At the same time Borsvold's work provides joy. The zany, witty constructions evoke the strength of the human spirit.
In New York, Borsvold's work would be sought after by an avant-garde gallery; fortunately for us, he's a treasure for the state of Michigan.
Gordon Borsvold's sculpture will be on display in October at the Omphale Gallery, 431 Fifth St., Calumet.
The opening reception will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8.
Refreshments will be served. Gallery hours:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Saturday Noon - 4 p.m. For
more information call (906) 337-2036/1522 or email email@example.com.
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