Black Cloth, 1994, by Roman Signer

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Roman Signer is one of my favorite artists. There are many reasons for this, but mostly because of the way he incorporates the landscape into his work. I appreciate the work of "land artists", such as Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Walter De Maria, etc., but Signer's work always felt closer. There's humor and wit, a shifty narrative, and he tends to involve at least one of the four basic elements - water, earth, fire, and air - as a material. He attempts to sculpt the "forces" within these materials, creating actions in order to capture the aesthetic disturbance generated by the action.

Some of his works make me think of a protagonist who’s never given up his desire to be an astronaut (at best), or a stuntman (at worst). He’s still attempting to answer the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ in the most idealistic sense.

For me, I sometimes think of all the careers I’ll never have. I’ve given up on the idea of being a basketball player in the NBA. I’ll never know that experience. When I see a piece such as this one, I think of that guy who refuses to give up on tasting the experience of being something he’ll never be.

I couldn't agree with you more that Roman Signer's humor and dedication to the absurd is infectious... let's find some fireworks!


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