Mo Willems is a master sculptor with creations in wood, wire, and steel. His works can be as intimate and playful as a hand painted Poop Devil toilet paper dispenser, and as majestic as the 15′ Elephant on public view at the Eric Carle Museum. Mo’s ceramic collaborations with his wife Cher are another component of the family’s creativity.
“My illustration work is all about line, so jumping to wire sculpture was a natural way to play around in a new medium. Plus, I love the shadows they cast.”
“I began carving and sandblasting images on pottery 20 years ago as a project with my father, a New Orleans potter. Initially produced for his workshop, they eventually led to a series of Paul Klee inspired works for the Guggenheim Museum Gift Shop and a gallery show in Soho, NYC. After a break of about a decade, it is fun to continue these carvings now that my wife, Cher, has coincidentally become an accomplished potter herself.”
“These constructions are part circus act (“SEE the gravity defying circle!”), part three dimensional Miró, and part unrequited love. The magnets strive desperately to attach to their beloved, yet they are held back by the thinnest of strings. It would be sad if it wasn’t also so pretty.”
Wood, metal, string, and magnets make up these unique creations by Mo Willems. They were originally presented as part of our Don’t Pigeonhole Me! exhibit.
The ELEPHANT is the first of Mo Willems’ large scale installations, a creation of Mo’s characteristic whimsy on a monumental scale.
Fabricated out of steel to his exact specifications and under his personal supervision, each sculpture in the edition of 7 is a different color. The work measures 15’ x 5’ x 7’ and weighs 1500 lbs. Concept and design created by Mo Willems, with fabrication by Sam Ostroff of Salmon Studios.