Crate (For Mother)
wood, paint, hardware
price: a mother’s love
David Weeks for Areaware
beech, elastic, water-based paint
Recommended for ages 3+
Anthony Cervino’s Crate (For Mother) is an abstracted, tongue-in-cheek portrait of his own mother. The work belongs to a series of Cervino’s sculptures that consider the formal and conceptual significance of crates as protective structures for transporting and storing works of art. Here, the art is imagined at once as the cargo within and the crate itself. The life-size form, with its profoundly stylized, stout stature and small size, also draws an affinity with the oldest and one of the most famous depictions of a mother, the Venus of Willendorf (ca. 28,000 – 25,000 BCE). Cervino’s yellow crates may at first seem at odds with the maternal roundedness and dense materiality of this paleolithic fertility goddess, but the geometry of this stone age mother, specifically the emphasis on her large breasts and stylized genitals, is echoed in Cervino’s angled rectangular prism and large red arrow. It may not be apparent at first that this sculpture evokes the Venus of Willendorf and other religious statuary that celebrate a Holy Mother, but Cervino toggles between multiple referents, jumping from one art-historical object to another, to honor (and store) his mother.
Cervino has not been the only creator to reimagine the human form as cubist sculpture. Cubebot® is a wooden toy robot inspired by Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles. Made from wood and elastic, the Cubebot puzzle can be positioned to hold dozens of poses, but there is only one solution. When it's time to rest, Cubebot folds back into a perfect cube.
Anthony Cervino is the co-director of Ejecta Projects and is Associate Professor of Art at Dickinson College. David Weeks is a New York-based designer, who founded his namesake studio in DUMBO in 1996 as an umbrella for his diverse interests, ranging from metal fabrication techniques to contemporary toy culture.