james parlin  
Disequilibrium / Storyboards / Men: A Brief Survey / A Baker's Dozen / Noah's Ark
 
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sculpture
sculpture

Noah’s Ark/Crabs

Polychromed bronze and wood.
Ensemble appr. 24 x 22 x 22 in.

sculpture
sculpture
sculpture
sculpture
sculpture
sculpture
sculpture sculpture
sculpture sculpture
 

 

Noah’s Ark      
            A number of years ago, I saw an exhibit of Noah’s Ark toys made by 19th Century artisans.  The toys were die-cast pairs of gaily-painted animals, standing on rectangular bases, one each, male and female.  The story of Noah, of course, is that of the triumph of the procreative urge in the wake of the cataclysmic destruction of nearly all that walked, swam and flew.  These toy animals from more than a hundred years ago represented a cheerful and unquestioning sensibility of sexuality as solely in the service of reproduction.  The toys were not sexualized in any way other than by the differences in size and colorization that we associate with many male and female animals, but their mission was perfectly clear:  Mama and Papa Zebra, hell-bent on making as many little zebras as time and good health allowed.
            I could not help but compare this simplistic view of couples and their sexual relationships with the complex, if not absurdly convoluted, goings-on that characterize any real relationship.  Few of us, anymore, feel the need to indulge in unbridled fecundity.  Our sexuality seems more an arena, now, for playing out our needs and desires and our aversions and fears and, only occasionally, for the making of babies.  I decided to make Noah’s Ark toys for our times.