Arts & Culture » Visual Art

Billow talk

comment

For a complete reversal of aesthetic programs from the architecture and design exhibition downstairs, check out the outrageous “Cloud” by artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle in the museum’s main gallery. As a technological marvel and as a portentous, protean image yielding almost uncontrollable, metaphorical readings, Manglano-Ovalle has upped the ante on contemporary art. The large sculpture is a scale model of an actual cloud, replicated precisely, giving new meaning to the term “representation.”

Manglano-Ovalle sculpted the piece with the computer-controlled scanning and milling processes that morph the shapes of contemporary automobiles. Composed of Fiberglas resin (like many car fenders) and coated with titanium leafing, it is constructed in modules with apparent grid lines, adding significantly to how we read the sculpture.

“Cloud” looks like a foreboding blob, modern in its formlessness, and yet, with its silvered patina, somehow classical. It could be an ominous sign of a nuclear explosion or a strangely detached ear auditing us, or one could find equally auspicious readings of it.

Manglano-Ovalle wants us to feel a sense of human intervention with this banal effort to make or transcend nature. Between the green design downstairs and Manglano-Ovalle’s replication of nature, there’s more to this difference than meets the eye.

Glen Mannisto writes about art for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.