Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Flashies and Other Visions

A few years ago, Glen and I were delighted by the “Blinged-Out Universal Tree of Life,” which stands on the sidewalk outside of AVAM's Main Entrance. Constructed from rebar, mirrors, and monofilament, it glitters and twinkles like a something made of magic and stardust. Here’s a brief video of it in all its glory:


Inspired by that glistening glass tree, we spent part of last fall making our own, somewhat scaled-down, indoor version. While we managed to work out some of the technical details easily, we tried several different glues and adhesives, but were not completely happy with any of them. 


Naturally, our inspiration tree was the first thing we wanted to show our friends. As we were standing around exclaiming over this or that detail, a man came up to us and enthusiastically introduced himself, saying, “Do you have any questions? I’m the artist!” Handing us his business card, Bob Benson told us about his website, ShinyHappyThings, and the strings of mirrors that he calls “flashies.” When I asked him about the glue, he generously told me it was something called “goop” and that I could buy it at the hardware store. Then he went over to his car, got some boxes, and took them inside the museum.

My friends and I spent the next few hours wandering around filling our eyes and imaginations with the paintings, drawings, and unclassifiable objects from AVAM’s permanent collection and its current show, The Art of Storytelling: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth. I'd try to tell you what I saw, but maybe you should just look for yourself. Let me know what you think. Meanwhile, we'll be adding more flashies to our tree.

1 comment:

  1. For the uninitiated, AVAM is the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.