Spotlight on the Rose 10-22-2019
As I walked around the Rose Art Museum, I was immediately drawn to “Untitled,” a piece by Jesús Rafael Soto from 1965.
This particular piece is made of wood and steel. It has a gray striped background with what appears to be thin wires sticking out in a manner that was messy with a criss-crossing pattern. Despite being a piece hung from the wall like a traditional painting would be, the work actually seemed more like a sculpture, since the wire aspects of the design physically pop out of the piece.
The reason why I was so intrigued by this work of art was because the wires created an optical illusion. It may be hard to tell in a photo, but upon looking at the piece, it was hard to tell which parts were closer to the background and which parts were closer to the observer. Many people at the museum looked at the piece from all different angles to try and figure out how the illusion was constructed. I wish that I could have leaned over and seen a clear side view of the work to observe the intricacies that create this illusion.
Jesús Rafael Soto is a sculptor and painter from Venezuela. He is considered a kinetic artist — meaning his art either involves movement or is perceived to be moving by the viewer. While this piece was not actually shifting in any way, it certainly made me think about a flowing sensation, specifically in the parts that popped out from the background. Upon looking at the piece, it reminded me of a broken violin, with the strings moving and falling in all different directions.
The lack of color in this work may cause it to seem boring or simple at first, but upon observation, it is actually very complex. The fact that this piece was not too ostentatious and loud but was still interesting and elaborate is what sparked my fascination with it and caused this piece to stand out amid the others in the museum.