The Great Wall of Monk

Last weekend I went with Sheri and my parents up to the Katonah Museum, about 40 miles north of NYC.

While “Conversations in Clay,” the exhibition currently on display indoors was not quite as inspiring as we had all hoped — there was a piece outdoors which was really great.

“Monk Wall” by Bo Gehring, is a 153-foot piece of sculpted styrofoam which is the artist’s interpretation of a 3-second segment of sound from legendary jazz musician (and my personal hero) Thelonious Monk.

While seeing an undulating chartreuse yellow wave set against the changing fall colors surrounding was an amazing sight in itself, it wasn’t until I learned more about this piece that it struck me just how similar it is to our own 2663 Urban Tumbleweeds artwork created this past summer.

2663 Urban Tumbleweeds” exhibited in Black Rock City, NV:

Sheri standing next to Bo Gehring’s “Monk Wall” in Katonah, NY:

Visually, both share a similar sense of scale — as they are roughly the same height, and are very horizontal. Both are also exhibited outdoors.

Yet it’s the attempt of both works to express concepts of time visually which make these the most similar. Whereas Gehring’s work is an expression of a 3-second piece of music, ours is a visualization of the amount of bags produced in the United States every second. Gehring’s is, of course, far more interpretive and purely artistic, whereas our’s is far more literal and educational.

If you’re a music lover, you should check out Gehring’s other work, as most of his work is based on visual interpretations of jazz legends.