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 Post subject: Penelope
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:15 pm 
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Location: Amherst, New Hampshire
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Penelope by Nick Lenz
Larch over garden concrete


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 Post subject: Re: Penelope
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:00 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
I know that not everyone likes this piece - and perhaps I should be ashamed to admit it, but I really do like thi s one. A lot.
Thanks for the lovely photograph of it, Candy.
Best regards,
Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:03 am 
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Location: south of Munich, Germany
This is Salvador Lenz at work. I like it very much. Is it the strike of a genius? Is it kitsch? Is it a tree that Nick will later on tell us he has discarded anyway and it never was good enough for a good bonsai and we are admiring a piece of crap? Yes, it was a discarded tree that together with Penelope made a most unique piece. Like the plastic lobster of Dali together with a telephone is unforgettable.
Ok, Nick, come out of the backwoods. Tell us that we are barking up the wrong tree here. Schelm!
Walter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:30 am 
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Location: Tennessee, USA
Well,
Since I'm new this and have nothing to lose then I will say in all my ignorance that I think it's incredible! I'm not used to seeing roots that are so fluid. The balance is amazing! I've never seen a tree look more... ALIVE. The effect is one of a tree that is actually moving before your eyes, like a snake wrapped around a statue. Or even of some sort of dendrophiliatic scene in which that woman is actually about to make love to the tree. It is a very bold scene that I think demands a better critique than I could ever give it.
Very inspiring.
michael


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:19 am 
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Posts: 76
Location: San Antonio, Texas
This is art that truly inspires me...
This is something that is totally unique...
This is the type of art that will bring bonsai into the new century, assist it in becoming recognized as a 'western art', and create a new group of admirers and purchasers of bonsai and related items...
Art of this magnitude will eventually gain the attention of those in charge of art museums, and open new venues for the display of potted trees...
But, in spite of all of this, I still like this work...
Regards
Behr


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:29 pm 
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Location: Huntersville, NC USA
Not for me. I like the tree and the statue, but not together. I'm sure it is based on the fact that the roots mimic a snake about to constrict the woman and it makes me want to pull out my knife and start stabbing!!! If I could just focus on the statue as an inert material (which it is) rather than a living woman, I could probably appreciate this more.
Of course, if unique duality of art simultaneously co-existing was the goal, then all I can say is mission accomplished.

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:52 pm 
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I have to admit that I feel a guilty pleasure looking at this picture. On the one hand, it appears to completely disregard the bonsai tradition, which places the tree in the center of attention, absolutely and uncontestedly.
Knowing the above causes my guilt.
On the other hand, I see a concept that is executed perfectly. The blending of the tree with Penelope's body couldn't have been done better.
Knowing the story of Penelope, adds another layer to my pleasure: the tree seems to be protecting her from the army of suitors who want to get her....or the tree wants to get her for himself. The ambiguity works both ways for me.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:29 pm 
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Walter Pall wrote:
Is it a tree that Nick will later on tell us he has discarded anyway and it never was good enough for a good bonsai and we are admiring a piece of crap?

Walter,
After having a closer look at that tree, it doesn't look like it would be useless on its own. It has as pretty decent branching and beautiful trunk movement (as much as I can imagine from the restricted view). And it's a larch, so no excuse this time (like in the case of the azalea) as to species suitability for bonsai.
Those long roots were grown after being placed on the statue. It looks like a very elaborate work to make those roots follow the creases and movement of the female figure.
There seems to be a lot of thought, planning, and time spent behind this work. So, the possible excuse along the lines "I couldn't do anything else with this worthless tree" doesn't fly with me this time. It would be just an excuse ready to be used in case a staunch traditionalist would become aggressive and attack the artist (you know, for some strange reason those otherwise nice folks become agressive sometimes - low self esteem, I guess).


Last edited by Attila Soos on Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:50 am 
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Location: Basel, Switzerland
?Good art is food for your brain?. These words from the mouth of a highly regarded artist I have kept in mind. I liked their simplicity.
So this could be good art. It is at least a lot of food. So many topics could be started with this image: Gender discussions, mankind versus nature, romantic art versus classic art. I would love it as illustration in a magazine, followed by an article about relationship problems or so.
It also shows that ?art? is a big drawer. This may of course provoque somebody who wants to do absolutely serious art not to accept it in the same drawer he puts his works in. I suggest to call it ?artistic?. Just to take it back a bit, just to prevent the other from calling it ?ridiculous trash?. Let's call it artistic. Then we can admire the craftsman's skill and smile about the fine humour he has.
Sure we must keep it and show it. Be it just to remind us how much is possible. A piece of art is not only, what it is. It is also not, what it is not. Sounds idiotic, but is tricky: An artist should be conscient about what it is doing but also about what he is NOT doing. When you paint blue, you have also decided, not to paint red. This ability to select you can achieve ? when your brain is well fed.
Can I have some more, please?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:11 pm 
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Location: Tennessee, USA
From Attila Soos:
Quote:
Knowing the story of Penelope, adds another layer to my pleasure: the tree seems to be protecting her from the army of suitors who want to get her....or the tree wants to get her for himself. The ambiguity works both ways for me.

I didn't think of this immediately, but after you said it I, at once, thought of the big tree that was in Penelope and Odysseus' bedroom. Perhaps this could be a conceptualized idea of what was going on inside of Penelope's head during the time her husband was gone and other men were making a mockery of his kingdom. The tree represented his presence and maybe she clung to it for strength?
I want to make clear here the fact that I'm not claiming that this is even close to what this piece may represent. I do not want to fall victim to one of things that annoy me most. And that is when people read too much into a piece of art. But the art and Attila's statements spurred that train of thought in me and I thought it was interesting.
michael


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:22 pm 
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Michael Thomas wrote:
I do not want to fall victim to one of things that annoy me most. And that is when people read too much into a piece of art.

I completely agree and feel the same.
But I also realized that learning about the symbolism that sometimes art represent, about the story that may have inspired the work, and about the artist and the circumstances in which the work was created, all that can add many more dimensions to the enjoyment of art.
That knowledge also creates a frame of reference to which I can attach the memory of the work and keep it in my mind. If I don't know the artist, the title, or anything about a piece, I tend to forget it much faster.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:13 pm 
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Location: INDIA
I like it very much even without the reference of the legend. It is a novel application of a bonsai technique artistically executed and beautifully photographed. Very nice composition and installation.
Is it the beginning of a new art form - planted art or plain plant art !
Whatever , it is very creative and arresting - from the artist's and viewer's viewpoint.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 12:20 pm 
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Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Or perhaps the less tortured meaning, in the story of Penelpe, is that she sat so long waiting for her man that the tree grew over her. A testament to her patience, a mocking of her fidelity.
Oh, that we could all be so patient in developing our trees!
On another note, if it makes you think so hard, it has to be art, regardless of whether or not it is "bonsai."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 10:18 am 
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Location: Bartlesville, Oklahoma
What this presentation brings to mind for me is an ancient tree that has grown over an even more ancient Greek sculpture.
I once saw a picture of trees that had grown over, in, and on top of some ancient stone buildings, I think in Asia. Some of the trees appeared to be very old.
Ancient sculptures were made of marble, alabaster, and other fine stone materials. So, this COULD be seen as a very artful root over rock. If this tree were growing in ruins of Greece, it wouldn't "know" this is a sculpture-it would just behave as though it were a rock (even though this particular example is made of concrete).
So, I realize that I'm ignoring the context, but I like the suggestion of ancient nature siezing the ruins of man and returning the earth to its natural state.
That's what this presentation speaks to me, anyway. Is it strict bonsai? I think not. Does that matter to me (in this case)? No.
I have fallen for this tree.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 1:05 pm 
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Michelle Gray wrote:
I have fallen for this tree.

Michelle,
I am sure you are aware of the fact that if you like this tree, you will have to apologize to the high priests of bonsai.
(just wanted to warn you of the risks)


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