Tuesday, December 23, 2008

an evening with Al Farrow

Al Farrow (left) and me

In October, I had the privilege of hearing Al Farrow speak at the Corcoran, along the Shepard Fairey.

Al has been a sculptor for many years and has explored a number of themes, but the evening's talk focused on his "Reliquary" series, which was one-third of a 3-man show at Irvine Contemporary in October/November (along with Fairey and Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky) called "Regime Change".

Al's "Reliquary" pieces are powerful statements on the historical link between organized religion and war. The sculptures, which weigh hundreds of pounds each, are fashioned mostly from guns, bullets, artillery shells and human bone. Assembled into architectural models of cathedrals, synagogues and mosques, they evoke strong feelings of violence and death, modern warfare and ancient crusades, evil and reverence. They're creepy and beautiful. His passion for the subject was evident in his talk, but the evening wasn't entirely somber; he also offered funny tales about buying guns and ammo, which he found shockingly easy to do.

It was great to meet him afterward and discuss our similar views on art and politics, a conversation that could have gone on, but was cut short by other commitments. Thanks, Al, for an evening of insight and entertainment. And inspiration.

Above: a sample of Al Farrow's work.

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