“What is Man?” This was the perpetual question that drove forward the figurative tradition as artists depicted man in relation to God, the church, nature and society. Often aggrandizing and lending the question an inherently positive examination; the interpretation, discipline, situation and material has changed but the subject matter never ceases to boggle. It is Nietzsche's query - “Why are we here and why do we do what we do?” It extrapolated into “And how have we become what we have become?”
Ed Giordano's prognosis is bleak. His typical man seems unable to move off of his solitary and compromised perch. He is imprisoned in words, covered by statistics, pinioned by the message of modernity rather than set free by the fictionalization of his possibilities. There is no room to soar upwards and pursue the divine quest of finding himself. The Overman is someone else. This sad and stymied 'ordinary guy' is not going anywhere. This is the pith of the sorry matter and with true psychological Zeitgeist and flare, the piece transcends its intrinsic commonality through the monumental truth of angst. By confronting the locked position of this vision of man, the opposite is invoked freedom and all of it's liberating facets.
The diminutive size and rough rendering of the figure allows us to wrap our head around the grand philosophical mysteries without having to be overwhelmed by the impossibility of understanding. The more likely fault - missing the mark - loses the stigmata of ignorance. The potential for expressing the human condition has been realized in these unassuming figures. They pose no threat upon our need to stay at least somewhat comfortable within our sentience. In fact, they grant a reverse dignity to our common plight by vesting humility with a presence, a powerful sculptural identity.
Ed Giordano's sculpture opens a door to compassion. It is void of arrogance and admits no challenge. It exists with a stubborn right to be blindly depressed. We feel sorry that it had gone this far, that the straight jacket has fused like a second skin, that we have not taken better care and been more attentive to this diminishing stature. They win us over with a blind sided sense of mutuality and identification.
Copyright © 2007, Julie Oakes