Sculpture by Josip Kresović ‘Atlas Carrying the Skies’
Sculpture in 2 Parts:
War Between Titans and Greek Gods Inspires Sculpture
Artist: Josip Kresović, multimedia artist from Croatia
Material: plaster, acrylic, wooden ball
The sculpture consists of two parts – plaster cube and wooden ball painted gold.
The plaster cube was made by creating a cube shaped cast in which ten liters of plaster was poured in.
Once half dried, mountains on top of the cube were carved in. After drying completely, the cube was sanded and polished.
To depict the ‘sky’, the plaster cube was painted firstly in black and then several shades of blue to blend the transition between the colors of the night and day.
On the bottom of the plaster cube in the middle, a wooden ball painted gold was placed with the help of a large screw that connects it with the wooden stand so it looks like the plaster is balanced on the ball.
The idea for this piece was a result of the artist’s interest in mythology but at the same time he was interested in finding a deeper meaning in the story making it a personal experience.
The mythology behind it is the story of the punishment of Atlas after the Titanomachy, ten-year wars between Titans and Greek Gods.
After the Greek Gods defeated the Titans most of them were killed, but Zeus decided not to kill the Titan Atlas, but punish him instead by making him hold the sky of the world for eternity.
The construction of the sky as a ten liter plaster cube was aimed to amplify the weight of the sky and even more by putting such a heavy object in juxtaposition with a small wooden ball, where the viewer almost waits for it to crumble under the weight of the plaster.
Also the sculpture is placed just below the eye level, which means that at first sight the viewer cannot really see what is the plaster cube balancing on, but has to tilt his/hers head sideways to discover the small ball carrying the weight.
To break from the all together a very geometrical shape, the artist decided to carve in mountains on the top of the plaster cube, which represents the Atlas mountain range in Maghreb, Africa, named after the mentioned mythical Titan. This way, the work bridges mythology and reality and in a way celebrates the strength of Atlas that is symbolized by the roughness of the mountain range.
Behind this mythological background, the artist also calls in the viewer to explore the possibility of them being Atlas himself, sometimes feeling like they are carrying an enormous amount of weight on their shoulders. This way an ambiguous sculpture with context becomes clear yet ambiguous again, until the viewer explores the hidden message.
This article was submitted by the artist to Sculpture Digest.
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