The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Glass & Stone, Light & Dark

The “stone” refers to Biltmore, the largest private home in the United States.

[I feel it's more imposing at night.]

The “glass” is the works of Dale Chihuly, reknowned glass blower. Bunny and I have had a years-long discussion about Chihuly and his “works.” He doesn't do the actual work, he just signs his name to the works, as well as the paychecks to the artisans who do the actual work of blowing glass. In that regard, he's like Thomas Edison, taking credit for the work of his employees. Edison didn't personally try over 5,000 different materials for light bulb filaments; no, it was an army of unknown engineers who tried over 5,000 different materials for light bulb filaments. And it's the same for Chihuly—his name goes on the works.

Bunny's argument is that Chihuly does the design work, which is the important part. Now, whether he does the work himself, or has an automated computerized glass-blowing machine or an army of artists blowing their lungs out, it's the vision of Chihuly that's important, not how the actual work is carried out. And to a degree I can buy that argument—that the art is more than just the method used to create it.

But regardless of who does the work, we came to Biltmore for the Chihuly At Night exhibit (thus the “light” and “dark” reference to the title). And man, it is impressive.

[I'm just glad I didn't have to put this thing together.]

A small portion of the display was in the main house:

[The sunroom has been overtaken by alien glass plants.]

But the majority of the works were outside.

[Um ... I think drops are supposed to fall downward, not towards the ceiling.] [I think this is supposed to invoke the image of candlesticks in holly.] [A garden of glass.] [It would make a wonderful Christmas Tree ornament except you would need a hundred foot tree to hang it from.] [It rises from the lake like ... um ... glass monster from the lake?  I don't know, I'm out of words here.]

It's unfortunate that these pictures do not do the works justice—the colors are way deeper and more vibrant than what you see here.

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