In an effort to knock out #4 I've been doing a little research.
Ugo Rondinone (Swiss mixed media artist) and his 3 works first greet you at the entrance to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. While Ugo tried his hand at many ways of art creation, here in Des Moines we admire 3 of his sculptural works right off Grand Avenue. The two goofy heads are part of a series of twelve called "Moonrise" created by Ugo honoring/mimicking/channeling/representing fully the 12 phases/faces of the moon/months of the year.
Jeff Fleming, I resisted the urge to touch the finger marks on the big moon faces.
From what I read, Ugo was pretty into the moon (as well as themes of fantasy and desire.) The two sculptures featured here in Des Moines are called: "MOONRISE.east.january" and "MOONRISE.east.august."
Ugo Rondinone (I'm still working on pronouncing his name. I've got the Ugo down, but the surname needs some practice) stands next to the moon faces, stark white against the neighboring green trees. "air gets into everything even nothing" is another sculpture of aluminum, cast from a 2,000 year old olive tree near Naples, Italy, which I learned in the hometown of Ugo's parents. It's truly lovely, but a little be eerie. The idea that a 2,000 year old tree, with such deep rooted (pun intended) history elsewhere is now placed as an enamel coated rootless, leafless object among the trees here in Des Moines is troubling and profound.
(Art critics say things like "profound" when describing art. I'd also say it's a juxtaposition between the tree's beginning and aged life in Italy and it's cold, ashen existence among the living in Iowa. Or something like that. Where's Sinclair when you need him, right Jen?)
Looks like I'm well on my way to giving a pretty serious tour.
Thank you Art major. I knew you'd come in handy (that and google skills.)
Still hoping to see a few new spots in Des Moines before August ends...any gems I'm missing out on?