Sculptures by Tom Otterness seen at Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, Rochester - Creation Myth
Sculptures by Tom Otterness seen at Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, Rochester - Creation Myth

Creation Myth

In this installation, Otterness alludes to Ovid’s canonical story in the Metamorphoses in which Pygmalion carves a sculpture of a woman in ivory so beautiful and idyllic that he becomes enchanted by her. Upon praying to goddess Aphrodite for a bride, Pygmalion’s sculpture, Galatea, comes to life. The works in Creation Myth, however, feature a woman carving a male figure. Otterness overturns this classical parable in his inimitable style.

Photos by Andy Olenick

Meet the Creator

"Tom Otterness was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1952. He came to New York City in 1970 to study at the Arts Students League, and in 1973 took part in the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 1977 he became a member of Collaborative Projects, a pioneering community of independent artists, and took a leading role in organizing Colab’s 1980 Times Square Show, which was called “the first avant-garde art show of the ‘80s” by the Village Voice. Otterness is one of a handful of contemporary artists invited to design a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, for which he devised a tumbling Humpty-Dumpty in 2005. Otterness lives and works in New York.

Otterness may well be “the world’s best public sculptor,” as the art critic Ken Johnson opened in the New York Times in 2002. Public art is his focus, and Otterness has had major outdoor exhibitions of his sculptures on the Park Avenue Mall in New York (2003), in more than a dozen sites in downtown Indianapolis (2005), on the grounds of the Beverly Hills city hall (2005-06) and throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan (2006).”

Available for commission/custom work