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Featured "Artist of the Month" - George Segal  
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George Segal- Pop Artist (1924-2000)
     Among the sculptors associated with Pop Art, one of the most impressive is George Segal.  In 1960, George Segal made his first direct sculpture casts from live models with plaster-soaked bandages obtained from Johnson & Johnson. The idea of exhibiting an unpainted body cast as a finished work was revolutionary and catapulted figurative sculpture into a new expressive dimension.  Segal’s shift to this distinctive medium came from his weariness with Abstract Expressionism’s interest in surface.


     His three-dimensional structures, made from cheap materials -- wood, wire, plaster -- instead reflect Pop art’s preoccupation with collapsing the boundaries between fine and popular art. Yet, Segal denied Pop art’s avowed superficiality through his desire to probe the physical and emotional connections between people and their environments. Like his friend Allan Kaprow, who is recognized as one of the first American artists to merge art and life into interactive performances that he called “happenings,” Segal’s disembodied casts compel us to distinguish between their realities and our own existence.


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Dancers Lovers


     In contrast to the lofty aspirations of the Abstract Expressionists, George Segal shared the Pop Art movement's interest in mundane images from daily life. By creating sculptures of ordinary people in routine activities, however, Segal had more humanist intentions. His choice of subjects and their melancholy mood subtly critique the alienating nature of modern urban life.


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Blue Nude on a Black Bed



     New Jersey-based sculptor, whose trademark life-size plaster casts can be seen in major museums and in public spaces throughout the country, from the FDR Memorial in Washington to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. Segal created his art out of life's seemingly uneventful moments--waiting for a bus, drinking coffee in a diner, listening to the radio--but his sculptures are more than just frozen moments. They remind us what it is to be human. "Daily life has a reputation for being banal, uninteresting, boring somehow. It strikes me that daily life is baffling, mysterious, and unfathomable."

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Segal loved the real world. "I think a minute of existence is miraculous and extraordinary."


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2008 Joseph Canger.com