Sculptures by Claes Oldenburg seen at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia - Paint Torch
Sculptures by Claes Oldenburg seen at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia - Paint Torch
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Paint Torch

With the tower of City Hall as a backdrop, the slanted brush
of Claes Oldenburg's Paint Torch creates a dramatic contrast to the powerful verticals of the city that surrounds it. The bristle part of the brush was molded into a solid sculptural form with a "blip" of orange paint on its tip, as if it had just picked up the paint and was about to place it on the sky. The source of the paint is suggested by a spiral "glob" of the same color on the sidewalk under the paintbrush. The Glob and the Blip are lit from the inside while the entire brush is illuminated from the outside. Looking at the model, it was easy to associate it with the Torch of Liberty, a popular symbol in a city proud of its part in the American Revolution.

It is at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and was installed August 20, 2011. The slenderness of the 53-foot sculpture was emphasized by placing the brush with the bristles pointing upward. It leans at a sixty-degree angle over Broad Street in a beckoning gesture that invites visitors into the plaza.

Paint Torch sculpture was made from steel, fiberglass reinforced plastic, gelcoat, polyurethane, LED lighting. Height from ground: 50'11"; Total length of work: 53' 9/16"; Handle to Glob distance: 14' 4 7/8"; Glob height: 5' 11 3/4"; Glob diameter: 6' 3/4". Paint Torch was fabricated in fiberglass and aluminum at the factory of Kreysler & Associates in American Canyon, California.