What we once were and what we’ve become . . .

America, Will Ryman

America, Will Ryman

As conceptual art, this works without any need for commentary. One glance and you get the point it’s making, and it does it powerfully and with genuine beauty. It also makes you wonder what it would be like to live inside of it. I’m pretty sure it would feel . . . what’s the word I’m looking for . . . unaffordable.  America, by Will Ryman, at Kasmin, could pretty much pass for an actual log cabin, such as the one Lincoln grew up in, except that it’s seriously shiny. This little starter home would have offered Thoreau more than enough space to crash for a couple years. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett also come to mind. But then, inevitably, one thinks, hey, nice penny jar for Donald Trump. Get up close and you can see all the consumer product parts used as building materials: car parts, railroad components, keyboard keys, corn, coal, cotton, chains, shackles, (cotton, chains, shackles . . . oh, I get it), wood, exterior paint and bullets. Bullets? Just another consumer item at Wal-Mart. (Point taken.)  Any serious shopper whipping out the checkbook at Kasmin, though, must wonder, do I have to wait two years to resell it at auction or should I just, you know, melt it down now? Reminder: it’s only gold resin. Also, it’s real estate, so you take your chances. Just wondering, America wants to be an act of dissent about the decline of American culture, as seems to be the case, shouldn’t all the money from the sale go directly to Occupy?

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