Art Collective Offers Ice Sculpture With Dismal Message at Republican Convention

THE DAILY PIC: The collective's ice sculpture captures the true state of the nation.

THE DAILY PIC (#1594): One of the more useful, if hackneyed, ideas in art criticism is that a good work of art should have a style that somehow recapitulates its subject matter. By that standard alone, the work that’s launching today near the Republican Convention in Cleveland should be a great one.

The art collective known as LigoranoReese, from Brooklyn, has ordered up a massive, 30-foot-long ice sculpture that spells out the words “The American Dream,” and over the course of the day it is supposed to melt away, just as that dream risks doing – has been doing ­– in the hands of today’s politicians. (Today’s Pic shows a similar piece they did for the 2012 conventions, but see below for a rendering of the piece for Cleveland; for streaming video from Cleveland, click on the image above.)

No American workers (least of all art critics) have been immune to the death of secure jobs in America, but from what I’m seeing artists, who have always managed a middle-class life only by the grace of God, are suffering more than most. That means that this project by LigoranoReese expresses a real solidarity with all those who are hard-pressed in our current polity, and whose votes are being targeted by a new crop of demagogues. (Can there be a crop of one?)

The project will be repeated in Philadelphia on July 25, for the Democratic convention. If the piece truly matches its medium to its message, it ought to melt a touch more slowly there.


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