In the New York Times‘ Sunday Style section, former Walker deputy director Richard Flood (now chief curator of the New Museum of Contemporary Art ) describes a 1930s glass bowl streaked with steel wool designed by Venetian artist Ercole Barovier: “Steel wool is so repulsive to the touch. It gives me this little screaming thing under my fingernails. So it was fascinating to see it become a collaborative element in the glass. It’s very seductive in its perversity.”
He goes on to describe a new work–stored in a Chinese take-out container on his desk–which has, again, sparked that same uneasy happiness: a yarnlike ball of hand-spun steel wool given as a going-away present from a Walker intern. Flood praised the contrasts of this “fetish item,” which was created for the artist’s 2002 thesis exhibition at Colorado College. “The fact that I know it’s woven into this incredible texture doesn’t change the feeling – but it does. You’re holding something beautiful, not something utilitarian that feels unpleasant,” he says. What he didn’t reveal to the Times was the artist’s name, a regular in the PR/Marketing department, Giselle Restrepo.
Update 11.04: The Star Tribune picked up on this, publishing a short blurb today.