“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen
Crown’s newest artwork Resilience re-envisions the iconic sculpture JOKESTER in a new medium. The dramatically crushed and compacted form continues her #SOLOTOGETHER series, which offers a platform for connection and environmental advocacy.
As a student of art and history, Crown has long been interested in the medium of bronze and its transformational possibilities. Artists began making bronze sculptures as early as 2500 BCE using a process called Cire Perdue, or the lost-wax method of casting in which molten metal is carefully poured into a mold created from a wax model. For Resilience, Crown worked with Factum Arte in Madrid from 2019 through 2021 to perfect the Cire Perdue technique. Under Crown’s direction, Factum first manufactured a 3D polyurethane model based on a high-resolution scan of an original crushed cup. Once the at-scale model was fully milled, the team created a ceramic shell by injecting the mold with wax and coating the surface with sand and stucco. After melting the internal wax between the shell and mold, the model was fired in an oven. Bronze artisans poured the molten metal into the ceramic shell in stages to produce subsections of the overall cup. Crown then directed the welding process and subsequent varnishing, sanding, and highlighting to bring the sections seamlessly together. The final step in the process constituted repatination, which resulted in a silver finish on the exterior showing movement and traces of the hand. The finished sculpture shimmers with an oil-like spectral quality, beautiful yet seemingly toxic and suggestive of uncertainty, complexity, and change.
Crown purposefully selected one of the most ancient art-making mediums for Resilience to transport the viewer to a possible future where questions like “Who made this monument?” and “Why?” might be asked. The sculpture reflects the artist’s belief in our ability to transfer energy and generate marks throughout the landscape. Even handling an object as mundane as a solo cup records human activity. As a future relic of marks made in our contemporary moment, Resilience contains a dual meaning. On the one hand, it functions as a warning against single-use plastics and their devastating environmental impact. On the other hand, the sculpture is deeply connected to the COVID-19 era and memorializes the collective grief, trauma, reckoning, and, ultimately, healing experienced amidst the Pandemic. Though many of us were metaphorically ‘crushed’ during this period, we nevertheless stand resilient, with Resilience reminding us all — to paraphrase Leonard Cohen — to seek the light in the cracks.