The Thinker

I went to the art museum today with Nick, my classmate-to-be and private gentleman of the bedroom. The collection has a "monumental" cast of Rodin's "The Thinker," which is a sculpture that, for years, I've never thought I liked. The rinkydink eight-inch bookend versions of it make it look inconsequential, like any old guy with bad posture sitting there with his face on his fist, and it's been tainted by hundreds of chimpified parodies. But the 2,080 lbs. version of it puts across a totally different vibe.

(Here's what it would look like as a screen-shot of an 80s music video. (All I had was my camera phone.))

This dude is fucking jacked. His back is an intricate but arbitrary-seeming lattice of bronze veins and muscles, and when you're standing directly under his double-sized head, you can look up into his eyes, which are tortured and blank all at once. That's the cool thing about the sculpture -- that every aspect seems to do two things without doing much of anything. His physical power conveys emotional and philosophical strain, his darkness conveys lightness, his heaviness conveys quickness, and his inactivity conveys maelstrom. He's always seeming to negate himself. But, most incredibly, every single part of his body is too big for his body. His hands are too big for his arms, and his arms are too big for his chest, and his chest is too big for his legs, and his legs are too big for his feet, and his feet are too big for his hands. It's this weird cyclical thing. Everything is too big for everything else, and it seems like it should come back around -- everything should be in proper proportion, if it's all too big, but it doesn't. It's just all too big. He's just enormous, and not because he's so big, which he is. He resembles nothing so much as a bronze Incredible Hulk, where everything is outsized but you can't precisely tell why. (Incidentally, it's too bad he's not copper, because then, if you left him outside, he would turn green.)

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