Friday, December 31, 2010

Sculpture Installation: Craig Kraft

Fall Sculpture planting season is over and as the end of the year slips by I always reflect on the projects I've been lucky enough to be involved in. Installing Art for Artists and individual collectors is a great favorite, there's always strong personal feelings involved and I can't help but be carried by it. Many Artists bear their work like parents and this added complexity, love, is another layer of care and responsibility. Where possible I try to act as they would, as if I were the Artist. Idealistically, this completes the process: the work is born in the studio and I help deliver and place it into the world.

Craig Kraft is a Washington DC sculptor who works with neon. He called me on a recommendation from a local Museum about a sculpture he wanted installed in front of the new Watha T. Daniel Library, logistically it was difficult. The sculpture was large, over 20' tall. Practically, it was almost impossible to truck, it was over wide and over tall. It was an illegal load as is and permits for it would be difficult and expensive. Luckily, the installation site was just 2 blocks away from his studio. He had made the piece outside, near the curbed street and you could almost see where it was going from his front door. We joked that we could get there by pallet jack on the road. It was almost a clear path, we'd just have to miss a few branches and be careful at the stop lights. Unfortunately it was a one way street going the wrong way. After a couple of days thinking about it I made a few calls. Finally with the help of a local company which I use sometimes with rigging and specialized equipment, we came up with a reasonable solution. On an early Saturday morning we arrived on site, rigged the sculpture to a boom forklift, stationed traffic control personnel along the path, taking extra care at the traffic lights and drove it to its new home, twisting it to miss any tree branches that tried to grab it. We were able to bolt to it's new base in two hours.

*video music by Ben Gage and the Mammoth Hunters, excerpt: "So It Goes"

ps: Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year