By Emma Cohen
Six-year old Ella and her grandmother Karen were on their way home from the Walker discussing the many amazing and interesting things they saw. Grandma Karen, picking up on Ella’s excitement, suggested making a work of art when they got back home. But Ella was quick to offer a more ambitious idea: “Let’s make the museum!” Inspired by Lifelike, the pair used a combination of household items and handmade objects to make their own version of the exhibition. When we got word of their undertaking we had to see it for ourselves. Here is what we found…
Robert Therrien made Walker visitors feel small by making his No title (Folding table and chairs, brown) larger than life. Ella also created a shockingly new sense of scale–but in a creatively different way:
Recreating Jud Nelson’s Hefty 2-Ply was no trouble for Ella, using a laundry bag stuffed with newspaper.
Ella created her own screening room in imitation of Jeon Joonho’s The White House, but after rearranging the furniture to get the right set up she decided hers was worthy of a $50 bill.
Finally–people small enough to use Maurizio Cattelan’s Untitled elevators!
Vija Celmin’s attention to scale in her piece Untitled (Comb) is not lost on little Ella. And don’t worry about Ella’s hair— she has another comb to use while this one is on display.
Grasping the concept of Ron Mueck’s Crouching Boy in Mirror, Ella took the idea and made it her own. To create this work she was very careful to trace the bear onto the paper so the image would accurately reflect the actual stuffed bear.
Ella captures the essence of Jonathan Seliger’s oversized milk carton Heartland with a little ingenuity and imagination.
James Casebere photographed Landscape with Houses (Dutchess County, NY) #8, a lovely, sun-drenched neighborhood which he built and created from scratch. Ella’s work alludes to this picturesque imagery.
Here’s a glimpse of the whole gallery that includes some of Ella’s other recreations, like those of Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes and Susan Collis’ Refugee, along with Deborah Butterfields’ Woodrow, which was not part of Lifelike but a rather ingenious connection to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Ella plays with scale herself! Here she is under her Robert Therrien-inspired table and chairs.
Big thanks to Karen, Morris and Ella for inviting us into their home and sharing their story.