Hockey Player Statue
Several months ago I heard that a large sculpture was planned for the area outside the Prudential Center, but I hadn't heard of it being installed, so did a Google search. Lo and behold, it was indeed put up, on August 17th. The Star-Ledger reported:
Last year, [artist Jon] Krawczyk personally took the wheel of a truck to lead the expressionistic sculpture on a four-day cross-country trek from his Malibu, Calif., studio to his boyhood home in Boonton Township.
There, it waited a year under his mother's watchful eyes for today's perspiration-filled assembly, more than a month ahead of an "official" Sept. 29 unveiling at a Devils pre-season game.
The tall hockey player that some call "The Iron Man" is just the latest creation by the 39-year-old Krawczyk, whose handiwork has showed up at Texas A&M's art building and the Four Seasons Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. * * *
It took eight months to complete.
In searching for background information about the sculptor, I clicked on a webpage for the International Sculpture Center — which is based at (the wondrous) Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. — that said only that he is not a member. It's a pity that so distinguished a sculptor born in NJ isn't a member of the NJ-based ISC. I wonder if any of his large works is in Grounds for Sculpture. They'd fit right in.
Posted by elperose
August 20, 2009, 1:52PM
Wow, I have never blogged before but the lack of respect for the arts has driven me to it. Most of the comments are so way off base and scary that educated people might actually be writing them - shame on our school systems for allowing such fools to graduate - this is being written by a former teacher - #1.Tax money did not pay for this sculpture #2 art is in the eye of the beholder and is made and subject to criticism but don't you think that Newark deserves to have interesting things brought to it to improve a city that is part of our state. #3 Some of the greatest artists have been mocked so Jon Krawczyk keep your head held high - you created a great piece - #4 I hope those people who have criticized the piece have many [made?] something even better in their lives but I highly doubt it - do something for the world and stop being negative.
Another defender remarked:
Posted by bigragu515
August 20, 2009, 11:09AM
... thank god there are some bloggers with brains. you negative ones (and uneducated i should add) need to go back to the [Newark?] museum (perhaps you have never been) and remember what art is. this cubistic sculpture is not supposed to look like realism. it is a beautifully crafted sculpture with so many facets, it will sparkle and be a jewel for the city. which btw, was made by a local jersey boy WITHOUT tax payers money you idiots!!! art is in the eye of the beholder so of course not all will like it but do you have to be such pathetically negative morons? take a happy pill and chill out. better yet, pickup a book, and educate yourselves. krawczyk, you rock and many are thrilled with the creation you made.
Next, you can see its size relative to cars on Market Street, just behind. I wanted to show it in relation to the two tallest buildings in Newark, beyond, which I had also done with a foto above, but didn't realize that the third tallest is cut off in this picture, because it was not visible when I was lining up the foto above, several minutes earlier. The building cut off on the left is the HQ of Prudential Financial, so I especially should have shown the whole name at the top, given that the statue stands outside the Prudential Center. I'll be sure to get the whole Prudential name when I take daytime pix on some brilliant, sunny day.
Count me in the camp who love this statue — well, at least at nite. I haven't yet seen it during the day. Last Friday, when I was speaking with Luisa Pinzon of the Newark Arts Council at the closing of the 33 Show, I mentioned that I had seen the hockey player statue the nite before, and asked what she thinks of it. She said she likes it, but has heard negative remarks from others in Newark arts. Perhaps they just need to see it at nite and in varying liting conditions.
I took this next foto looking up at the player's face, with only ambient lite. It shows how the statue both picks up the lite around, so fits into its space, and stands out as a striking object on its own.
I took this second foto with flash, which reduces the number of colors to almost only those in the statue itself.
Here's a closeup of the ice skate, as taken with flash.
The marks on it suggest Krawczyk's process, as described in an article in Artworks magazine (which for some reason almost wholly suppresses his New Jersey origin, except for his Devils commission):
When people ask me how I make my sculptures, I usually answer ‘with violence,’" Jon says, only half kidding. And he’s right in a sense. For Krawczyk, there is no foundry, molds or casting – every sculpture is muscled out by hand, and every one is unique. "I start with flat sheets of metal," he explains. "The shapes are cut and then twisted, turned, hammered, pounded – whatever I need to do to manipulate the metal. Then it’s on to welding, grinding and polishing. There’s a lot of playing with the fine details. Let’s say I have two shapes and the cut is off just a little bit. I have to deal with that, I have to manipulate it – roll it, bend it or curve it into the shape I’m looking for. That’s when I get really interesting stuff. Sometimes I let the process dictate where I’m going with a piece."There was no one near the statue much of the time that I was taking pix, so in the fotos from most angles you can't tell how large it is (22 feet tall; 6,000 pounds). I am unclear as to whether the 22-foot measure is of the statue in its current position or how tall the hockey player would be if he were standing rather than bent over. But here you can see it in relation to street lites in front and, more indicative, to people on the left at about the same distance as the statue. If they are a bit shorter than 6 feet, I guess the 22 feet refers to the height to the skater's horizontal back, which means that he would be 40 feet tall if standing. I rather like the idea of a 40-foot standing player at the other end of the Plaza — the Colossus of Newark.
Newark is very lucky to have such a large, powerful, and dazzling statue Downtown.