Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Helen Altman's Blackbird - "Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night"?

Blackbird (2014)
Helen Altman

Joshua Fischer, writing for Glasstire, reviews Helen Altman's exhibition Cover Your Nut in an article titled "Our Unnatural Nature that Seems so Natural" (March 29th, 2015):
Helen Altman's Cover Your Nut at Moody Gallery feels like a mini-retrospective. An eclectic mix of recent work ranging from found object sculpture, child-sized lion costumes, and wireframe birds, to incredibly precise paintings of trees, the work feels coded with personal meanings, revolving around how humans use animals to tell our own stories.

A sense of the past and childhood is overwhelmingly present in the work; many sculptures use antique, child-size objects and stuffed animals, perhaps alluding to a moment in life when the human/animal worlds are closer as a child seeks comfort in a stuffed animal.
That search for comfort likely doesn't extend to the wire Blackbird, which might even strike fear in the hearts of little ones, for there's something uncanny about this instance of "Unnatural Nature," but nightmares are also a part of childhood. Speaking of that bird, let's click on the image below to see a close-up from Moody Gallery of that same Blackbird:


A bigger bird is a better bird in this instance. There are more of these birds on Ms. Altman's website. The artist seems to have caught the essence of each bird in its own personal wire cage.

"Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night" . . .

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