January – February, 2010
Woodward Gallery Project Space
Woodward Gallery presents the stikman: Double Vision installation on the Woodward Gallery Project Space.
The man on a wire image comes from the precarious nature of modern economic reality. The first large scale installation of the image was of the man on a wire that was stretched between two stacks of demolition debris. He was surrounded by a mass of falling figures that were reflective on one side and black on the reverse. There have been many paste-ups installed using the man (made of maps) on a line (wire) between two verticals. The man on the wire was attached to the top of two stacks of shipping pallets. The stacks were erected in an overgrown lot that had been cleared to build luxury condos, but is now abandoned. This installation is homage to that lot at sunrise.
Since the early 1990’s the artist behind these images has been exploring the realm of a mysterious man made out of sticks and pressed into a soft clay tablet. The basic elements of the original stickman continue to reveal themselves in ever changing forms.
Some observers claim to see shamanistic qualities in these feral glyphs and votives. The figures populate the urban environment with their endless repetition and variation, embellishing the ordinary streetscape while revealing the consequences of the physical world’s forces on an idea. They become alive in the natural cycles that grind them out of existence as we observe their deterioration day after day.
stikman is a self taught artist. The first stikman wooden figures began appearing on urban streets as early as 1991 and with a strong, continuous presence ever since. There have been thousands of stickman images placed in US cities and towns as metaphor for the fragility of human life.