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Sometimes, you just need a smile.
When we really needed one the other day, we remembered these delightful mosaics by Lynn Moor of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Between 2009 and 2010 (and with the appropriate permissions) Moor did a series of mosaics based on original artwork from the Permanent Collection of the Children’s Museum of New York City.
Mosaic fabrication, when it is done well, is much much, more than the simple replication of an artwork done in another medium. Stephen Miotto, whose studio has collaborated with some of the country’s best artists in producing works for the New York Transit System once told us, “You can’t copy a work of art (in mosaic). You have to recreate it to a way that is honest to what the artist wants.”
And that is exactly what Moor has done here. Take a look at the energy in Red Dude. You can see that the original artist simply could not get the image down on paper fast enough. There is a visual sense of urgency in the sweeping, strong black lines and solid self-assurance in that gap-toothed grin. Moor honors this exuberance with hand-carved chunks of smalti set in black, pink thin set for those blood-shot eyes and her own exuberant addition of a gleaming gold tooth. Her mosaic is just as edgy and energy-filled as the original.
And Moor’s interpretation . . .
The “Father of Modern Mosaics”, Gino Severini, once likened the placement of mosaic tesserae to the brushstrokes of Cezanne. In Pigtail Girl, we see Moor interpreting the original artist’s crayon strokes in an andamento that beautifully mimics the hand of original. We imagine this to be a self-portrait of a young girl who is just beginning to have an idea of who she is. Moor captures the sense of tentativeness and inward musing in the original with great affection.
We love Bridge, a child’s vision of the the Brooklyn Bridge in the moonlight. What a world this child has made!
Moor’s interpretation is no less inventive or filled with wonder.
Finally, there is our personal favorite, Stickman. All we know about the original artist is that he/she was three years old when the work was created and that the beautifully naive work has become crumpled and stained over time.
Moor’s interpretation is done in marble and smalti on a substrate which she hand-formed. The use of marble to represent the matte finish of manilla paper, the injection of bits of color to represent the stains without replicating them exactly, the rumpled substrate placed against a flat background of another color – Moor has done such a brilliant job of re-presenting the original Stickman that if one hadn’t seen the original one could easily describe exactly what it looked like.
Each of these mosaics by Lynn Moor is an obvious act of love and homage to the original artist. And that definitely makes us smile.
Lynn Moor makes wonderful original works of her own. See them at LynnMoor.com.
Enjoy – Nancie