Sunday, January 11, 2009

Art: MVSEVM and Movie Palace

Artist David Beck creates mixed-media pieces of interest to building collectors and architectural fans. Beck was commissioned to create MVSEVM to commemorate the reopening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C in 2006. When closed, the model takes the shape of the Old Patent Office Building where the museum now resides, but it opens to reveal miniature artifacts and artworks as well as drawers containing smaller models. The size for the miniature building is approximately 32 x 55 x 50 in. (81.3 x 139.7 x 127.0 cm). Another Beck sculpture is named Movie Palace. Its an elaborate kinetic sculpture that combines Hollywood escapism with the innocent pleasures of windup toys. Beck remembers movie going as a social experience that is disappearing from American culture today. Crafting this lost world in miniature creates the kind of magic that films once had, when they transported audiences to distant lands and improbable adventures. The building combines the Renaissance, Moorish, and Egyptian styles that movie houses shamelessly borrowed in the good old days. Reliefs on the outside of the dome represent film noir, Westerns, musicals and other genres from Hollywood's golden age. Inside, animated figures talk and eat popcorn while King Kong swats at biplanes from the mast of the Empire State Building. Beck chose a variety of materials to create Movie Palace including horn and bone. The shining dome has been water gilded. Tiny people in the audience balance drinks and popcorn as they try to find the best seats. The piece measures 84 x 40 x 22 in. (213.4 x 101.6 x 55.9 cm). David Beck also created L'Opera. Do know of other artists creating architectural pieces?

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