Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Torso (Jacob King)

The Torso  by Robert Graham
     If you have ever been on Rodeo Drive, odds are you have seen the sculpture, The Torso, by Robert Graham. Despite the fact that it is amongst all the glimmer and glamour that embodies Beverly Hills, this sculpture has the capability of catching your attention.  Commissioned by the Rodeo Drive Committee in 2003, this art piece is the centerpiece for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.  Located at the corner of Dayton Way and Rodeo Drive, the figure of a naked woman's torso on a large pedestal towers over the crowds at a height of fourteen feet.  Carved from solid blocks of aluminum, the subject is a shiny frame of a woman's body from just below the neck to the top of her knees and is proportioned in true life size.  Fully in the round, this statue is completely detailed with a third-dimensional view of the front and well as the back of the figures body.  The pedestal that uplifts The Torso is made of solid bronze that seems to disappear into the background in contrast with the gleaming aluminum.  
    In a city were perfection is not only desired but expected, this figure of idealized beauty speaks volumes to its surroundings.  Designed to be aesthetically pleasing to the shoppers of the high-end shops located up and down the drive, the sculpture is a constant reminder of what is the expected shape of a woman in fashion to have.  In addition, it acts as a muse to what the wealthy patrons expect from their companion.  It empowers the viewers gaze by allowing you to stare at the woman's body without her having the ability to engage back at the viewer because she was sculpted with no head.  This detail may be the key to the hidden content of the piece.  Could it be, that even in 2013, a woman's worth is only located from below her neck to the top of her knees?  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of the upcoming videogame Dead Island: Ritpide. In UK, they are releasing a "Zombie Bait" edition which includes the torso of zombie woman with large breast, wearing a bikini. It cause controversy and the publishers had to apologize.