On our recent visit to Marlborough Gallery on 57th Street, our group enjoyed seeing sculptures, paintings, and mixed media works on view by artists, including Red Grooms, Manolo Valdés, George Rickey, Richard Estes, Beverly Pepper, and Claudio Bravo at the Spring Group Exhibition on view from April 18 to May 26, 2018.
Our favorite piece was the little Tom Otterness statue that seemed to be welcoming us to the gallery. Franklin couldn’t help but pose with it, which was immediately reminiscent another famous pair. Enjoy this whimsical comparison of this with Partners Statue, the iconic statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse.
The first Partners Statue debuted at Disneyland in 1993 in honor of Mickey Mouse’s birthday. In 1995, the Partners Statue was unveiled at Magic Kingdom Park and positioned in front of Cinderella Castle. It was sculpted by Blaine Gibson. A former Disney animator, he took one year to create the sculpture and based his depiction of Walt on a bust he originally created in the 1960s. When choosing an expression for Walt’s face, Blaine tried to reflect Walt’s goal of making people happy. The statue’s expression is Blaine’s interpretation of Walt watching happy people enjoy the park.
Originally from Kansas, Otterness may well be “the world’s best public sculptor,” as the art critic Ken Johnson opined in the New York Times in 2002. You may have seen some of Tom Otterness works as you traveled on the New York City subway that made you smile. See if you can uncover some of his creatures that are part of a public art installation at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street station.
Marlborough’s exhibition was very enjoyable and it was clear to the group that Marlborough Gallery was expressing the same welcoming sentiment as Disney when they placed the Otterness statue in the middle of the gallery ready to entice visitors.