Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chihuly Exhibit

Surely with one good eye
he can see this is a bad perm?
Dale Chihuly is a sculptor whose specialty is blown glass in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  He is from Tacoma, Washington and is not to my knowledge related to Tom Tuttle.  He wears an eye patch, not as a fashion accessory but out of necessity.  He was almost killed in a car accident in England in the 1970's.  As a result, his minions do much of the work, Dale choreographs.  (I wish I had minions and could choreograph...).  Consequently the output from the Dale Chihuly glass works is vast and years from now there will be heated arguments on Antique Roadshow over the authenticity of Chihuly pieces.

"Well, we believe it hand blown in the Chihuly style in the 1990's but lacks the provenance, patina and personality of his early work.  It is in fact a Chinese copy with an insurance value of 50 cents".

I digress.

Dale & the Minions (cool band name!) loaded up the 18 wheeler in 2012 and brought vast quantities of his work to the beautiful grounds of the Dallas Arboretum.  We made the trek on the last weekend of December and it was a mob scene. 

There were maybe 25 glass creations strategically placed around the grounds.  They were impressive for the size, color, intricacies and imagination.  At night they are illuminated and would be even more impressive.  They get a bit lost outside and probably look better inside.  Very cool, nonetheless.

Here's the kicker.  We came to see the Chihuly Exhibit but given the day was cold were drawn to the warmth of a hacienda style home in the middle of the arboretum.  Inside was a wonderful collection of Nativity scenes from all around the world.  There were hundreds, mostly small and made from almost every material imaginable.  Some were simple, just three figures carved from wood.  Others were full on Cecil B. DeMille productions, angels, shepherds, sheep with real wool, imported sand, lasers etc. (okay, I made up the bit about the real wool). 

Maybe because it was Christmas, I left the gardens a lot more impressed by the simplicity and message of the Nativity scenes than old Dale's mass produced glass.  Cool eye patch though, if only Joseph had one...

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