Saturday, 18 December 2010

34-36 High Holborn WC1

 The Artist as Hephaestus (1987) could be by no-one but Eduardo Paolozzi, a perfect example of his brutalist style, looking as though the work had been sawn into sections and then carelessly reassembled with all the bits slightly out of alignment.
Hephaestus was the Greek equivalent of Vulcan. He was a sort of divine Q, supplying all the Gods with their gadgets. He made Hermes's winged helmet and sandals, Aegis's breastplate, Eros's bow and arrows and Helios's chariot.
Paolozzi portrays himself holding a number of strange-looking objects. Are they mystical machines such as Hephaestus might have knocked up for his divine clients? They look a bit like impedimenta from a foundry, perhaps items associated with the lost wax process Paolozzi used so extensively.
Paolozzi suggests the Hephaestus's lameness by making one leg slightly shorter than the other and  moulding his left foot as though it is fused to the block under it.

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