Think Trevi Fountain in Rome--only in cardboard. That's a start on James Grashow's concept of his huge recycled cardboard sculpture, Corrugated Fountain, on display at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
It is complete with Poseidon, tritons, heroes, sea horses riding nymphs, dolphins, giant fish, waves and rocks. It took the artist three years to finish and has filled entire rooms at museums where it has been shown over the past few years.
For this final showing of the piece, the work will be installed outdoors on The Aldrich's front terrace where it will weather and disintegrate over the length of the show. Grashow believes that "creation and destruction are married to each other," so this is his final celebration of its grandeur. As nature takes its toll, the destruction will be filmed.
It is part of his exploration of man and our mortality. A fountain made out of corrugated cardboard is an impossibility.
“I wanted to make something heroic in its concept and execution with full awareness of its poetic absurdity. Water and cardboard cannot exist together. I wanted to try to make something eternal out of cardboard. To work in the face of mortality is the idea that made Corrugated Fountain an irresistible project for me.”
James Grashow was practically raised on cardboard: his father had a factory and he has been making things out of it since he was a child. According to the artist:
“Corrugated board is a material that understands its mortality, it knows that it’s destined for trash. It is bonded to the human experience. They say that 85% of everything on the planet has spent part of its life in a cardboard box. Corrugated board and us have a shared destiny, it is in our DNA. Rescued from trash, corrugated board is so grateful to be something, to have another chance. It becomes a perfect partner in play. “