FRESH POP NYC
The acknowledgement of superficiality that the pop pioneers purported was punctuated by the poignancy of works by George Segal and Edward Kienholz. Both eschewed the religiosity towards materials that had come before them by using ordinary plaster as the end result rather than a step in the process of sculpting. They took found objects and set the context. They addressed topics that were psychological and they looked at contemporary consumerist orientation as the root of dysfunction. 'Loneliness' was not just a word in a pop song but the dripping faucet that was draining the resources from a morally depleted society.
Giordano had studied with Segal and the influence is felt. But he has distilled the final product, bringing the angst to its most intoxicating level and the plaster personifications cloy with a chalky under taste like the suspicious milky drink in Rosemary's baby served as an annunciation with a slightly demonic gene.
Ed Giordano's prognosis is bleak. His typical man seems unable to move off of his solitary and compromised perch. He is imprisoned in words, covered by statistics, pinioned by the message of modernity rather than set free by the fictionalization of his possibilities. There is no room to soar upwards and pursue the divine quest of finding himself. The 'overman' is someone else. This sad and stymied 'ordinary guy' is not going anywhere. This is the pith of the sorry matter and with true psychological zeitgeist the pieces transcend intrinsic commonality through the monumental truth of angst. By confronting the locked position of this vision of man, the opposite is invoked - freedom and all of it's liberating facets.
The diminutive size and rough rendering points a way around the grand philosophical mysteries without having to be overwhelmed by the impossibility of understanding. The more likely fault - missing the mark - looses the stigmata of ignorance. The potential for expressing the human condition has been realised in these unassuming figures. They pose no threat upon our need to stay at least somewhat comfortable within our sentience. In fact, they grant a reverse dignity to our common plight by vesting humility with a presence, a powerful sculptural identity.
Ed Giordano's sculpture opens a door to compassion. It is void of arrogance and admits no challenge. It exists with a stubborn right to be blindly depressed. We feel sorry that it had gone this far, that the straight jacket has fused like a second skin, that we have not taken better care and been more attentive to this diminishing stature. It is his unflinching persistence that modernity is serving up less than it is capable of, that under-achievement is expected, that the weight of life is not equal to the potential for ascension that is first and foremost on his agenda. He is undauntingly pessimistic.
This is Ed's Fresh Pop - he insists the ingredients are toxic. His is not a bubbly intake but a draught with a bitter aftertaste.
Copyright © 2008, Julie Oakes