Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg is an American artist that creates large-scale sculptures and installations of everyday objects. Claes Oldenburg operates in the space between the physical appearance of the object and his feelings towards it at the moment. The object – in translation, enlarged, distorted, changed into an amorphous mass or reduced to severe planar elements – is the focus of strong, formal and expressive content. Also, his wit is a source of such imagery and he revels in contradictions - prosaic objects which are suddenly expanded to monumental scale; hard, industrial form converted to soft form. Claes Oldenburg art is a totality. The themes, each manifested in various media, are intimately related. This is one of the reasons that attracted me to his work from the beginning of his career until now. I was keen to discover the different types of media that he uses to create everyday objects and the way that all these artworks communicate between them. Also, he has influenced me in experimenting with large-scale objects and adding humour in them. Moreover, his work prompted me to observe everyday objects as something else or to try to find metaphorical uses of them everyday objects.

 

(Oldenburg, Six Themes, Intoduction by Martin Friedman and interviews with Claes Oldenburg, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1975)