One of the most original public works of art in the circulation area of the “Free Press” made it uncomfortable to hide behind the town hall of Hohenstein-Ernstthal. As long as you can hide an approximately three meter high sculpture made of wonderfully rusted iron. A peeing man, the bottle still in his hand, visibly leans …
One of the most original public works of art in the circulation area of the “Free Press” made it uncomfortable to hide behind the town hall of Hohenstein-Ernstthal. As long as you can hide an approximately three meter high sculpture made of wonderfully rusted iron. A peeing man, the bottle still in his hand, is clearly leaning against a lamp post, where at the same time a dog is marking its territory with a raised leg. “Territorios” is the name of the work by the Colombian artist Edgardo Carmona Vergara.
It is largely a gift from the twin town of Burghausen to Hohenstein-Ernstthal, who organized an exhibition for the artist in 2006 and made him known in Germany. Born in Cartagena in 1950, Edgardo Carmona initially studied mechanical engineering and business administration, but also trained in pottery, charcoal drawing and oil painting at the local art college. He made his first metal sculptures in 1978, benefiting from his years of occupation with machines and construction work. He uses pipes, rods, and metal plates from hardware stores and scrap metal dealers. His detailed work soon caused a sensation and has since been exhibited in Colombia, Panama, the USA, France, Italy and Germany. Edgardo Carmona has been working exclusively as a sculptor since 1999, before he was also successful as a composer and singer, wrote about social policy in a daily newspaper and illustrated mathematics books that his father had written.
In his sculptural work, the Colombian sculptor primarily deals with everyday topics, everyday scenes, and people who are otherwise hardly objects of sculptural art. There are larger-than-life cyclists, flautists, domino players, dancers, artists, jugglers, playing children, Don Quixotees, anglers – and also the pissing, drunken scoundrel who can no longer get behind a tree, home, or on one of the (in public toilets (which are rare in many places) and his counterpart, the dog, probably just doesn’t really understand the dog, even though he is very similar to him. “Territorios” was not only controversial in Hohenstein-Ernstthal – currently there is a piece of paper on the back of the sculpture with the ironic inscription “I want to go to the town hall”. When another variant of the sculpture was exhibited in Fort Myers, Florida, the motif was not noticed very clearly at first, but after seeing what it was really about, there were calls for the work of art to be dismantled, which the city did not gave in. On the one hand it was taken humorously, on the other hand simply as “life is just that way”. And the work became one of the most popular in the Florida open-air exhibition.
Indeed, Edgardo Carmona’s sculptures are fascinating because of their closeness to life and their wealth of detail. Although because of their material – old metal parts that the artist only roughly cuts to size, screwed and welded together – at first glance it appears coarse and slightly cubist, but he also manages to give his figures a psychological dimension. The drunk man, for example, is not just a funny figure who is supposed to provoke with its beam of steel. The man’s posture and face are more indicative of real worries that make him drink and forget about good morals. Many other sculptures by the Colombian are similarly narrative: a dispute between an old and a young man on a park bench escalates into a generation conflict, a shoe shiner begs for customers for a meager wage, a writer works in vain on his masterpiece. Music plays a role in many works, sometimes in the form of a bird competing with a flute player. Edgardo Carmona Vergara deals with everyday life without glorifying it, even without trivializing it, with feeling and humor. No bad ingredients for art.