- Art, Birthday, Nonfiction

Claes Oldenburg on Art and Life and Other “Possibilities”

Happy birthday, Claes Oldenburg! 90, today! Here are some of his marvelous sculptures highlights from his wonderful “Ode to Possibilities“:

“I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top.”

Floor Burger, 1962

“I am for an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or violent, or whatever is necessary.”

Soft Toilet 1966
Soft Toilet, 1966

“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.”

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Dropped Cone, 2001

“I am for all art that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself.”

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Cupid’s Span, 2002
  • John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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