ANDY YODER AT WINKLEMAN ART IN AMERICA, SEPTEMBER 2007
By Edward Leffingwell
Light-conductive lead crystal gives to the newest sculptures of Andy Yoder a translucency appropriate to these playful digs at the less-than-transparent monied classes. The glass elements of the project - fragile portrait busts - were said to be three years in the making. Yoder conceived and cast them to represent Wal-Mart mogul Samuel Walton in sapphire blue, optimum consumer Martha Stewart in leaf green and developer Donald trump forever amber, each head larger than ligr at about 24 by 10 by 16 inches. Placed on simple cylindrical pedestals at respectful distances from one another, they radiated with the glow of votive candles, as though lit from within. The easily identified figures were topped with clearly defined coin slots: the portraits are piggy banks (though sealed for this exhibition).
Further sending up his famous targets, Yoder represents miraculous appearances by the subjects in three watercolours on paper, each head round roughly 12 inches high. Martha of the Leaf locates Stewart's face in insect-gnawed trails on an aspen-shaped leaf attached to a branch against a yellow ground. Yoder finds Walton among the stars of Sam Nebula and portrays Trump in a slice of bread for Donald of the Toast.
Andy Yoder's sculptural installation, The Three B's, adorns the driveway of School District 26's new Glen Oaks campus. The Three B's greets the students, as the Glen Oaks campus drive is a thoroughfare trafficked by students. Yoder represented art, science and physical education by depicting a paintbrush, beaker, and barbell. These sculptures are clearly visible to cars and schools buses alike, as Yoder's thirty individual sculptures measure 30 x 20 x 20" each. For this project, Yoder culled inspiration from the robust and functional appearance of fire hydrants. He collaborated with patternmakers at an industrial foundry to achieve his desired effect. The original paintbrush, beaker, and barbell were modeled out of paper mache. A wooden version (or "pattern") was created at the foundry so that eleven casts could be made of each shape. The sculptures were later painted with enamel for color and weather resistance. This project not only creates a warm and whimsical transition into the world of learning, but also provides protective bollards around the school's driveway.
Andy Yoder is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. His sculpture has been featured in one-person exhibitions at Plus Ultra gallery in Brooklyn; the Queens Museum of Art, the Sculpture Center, Art Resources Transfer, and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. He has recently completed permanent commissions for Progressive Corporation, the Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center in Cleveland, OH, Continental Airlines, ESPN, and the Columbus Museum of Art.
"I find that the practical requirements of public art push me to respond with solutions that I never would have come up with in the studio. Sculpture forces one to deal with the real world, and public art does even more so."- Yoder, 2004.