Rock Whisperer

One of the rock collages on the west side of the park

The Rock Whisperer has struck again. This past December, he or she demonstrated almost magical powers by balancing tall triangular rocks upside down on their apex. See post here. Those sculptures had short lives. Wind and little boys soon tipped them over. Earlier this summer, this unique artist struck again, mounting little groups of stones on boards, as if they were people. Photographer James Kusz shot one of the works on July 8, commenting that “things are so slow that rocks are walking the plank.”

The anonymous artist’s work seen on July 8 2020. Photo © James Kusz.

These assemblies are works of art. Their creator has positioned the stones in poses that don’t imitate how nature places fallen stones. The poses imitate people — people standing in line, perhaps people standing in line practicing social distancing. Moreover, the artist has placed additional smaller stones on top of the base rocks, as if to give them heads, limbs, and other projections that people might have — if they came from another planet. The artist has also taken care to secure the planks that support the stones, assuring that the cantilever remains projected in the air even though the weight of the stones begins to bend the wood. Some serious thought, some engineering know-how, and — dare I say it, some muscle — went into the making of this art. The proof of the concept is that these works survived for more than two months in a rough, turbulent environment. (But no longer, see postscript. )

Who is the mystery artist? This Banksy of rip-rap has struck repeatedly in a wide-open public space, without leaving a trace as to his/her identity. To avoid detection, the artist must have done this work during the very early or very late hours, under difficult light. This is no kid throwing random rocks together. These are not the kind of rock ducks that hikers make as breadcrumbs to mark a trail. This is genuine art made from locally found materials, possibly inspired by the work of the brilliant Scot, Andy Goldsworthy. Maybe it is Goldsworthy on vacation here. I invite the artist to step forward, show her/his face, and accept the applause of an admiring public.

Many of the large stones have smaller stones balanced strategically (Detail)
Three of the sculptures on the west side of the park, August 31 2020

P.S. Between the time this post was written and the date of publication, the artwork shown has been destroyed. Either the artist or some vandal stripped the planks of their stones. A few new sculptures have appeared, see below for an example, as if the artist were saying, “I’m still here!”

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