Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Claes Oldenburg on the Soft Drum Set

"Marmont Hotel 8221 Sunset 0L6–1010

no typewriter

until Aug 9

1. It is made of odds + ends and only measures about 3”. I had a real drum set when I was about 14 + enjoyed playing it, along with jazz records. I also tried playing piano + guitar but liked the drums best tho I hadnt the patience or whatever to learn it very well. I eventually sold the set.Music was later an inspiration to modern form. I mean I got out of the Wagner hole my Mother favored via Stra-vinsky + Ravel—which wasnt very modern in 1954 but modern to me. Stravinsky whom I then collected had an influence on my attitude and style, expressed in drawing. I also admired his discipline and read his prose and aquired his prejudices fx liking the “out” Tchaikovsky. Ravels detachment while producing emo-tion fascinated me, also his parodies which were still art in the best sense.I was fond of blues way back and all rhythmic music. Walter de Maria who is a good drummer seemed to take my soft Drum sit [insertion: as a] personal attack via magic. He and Pat were seeing each other then and felt a bond a-gainst—the icy monster. All that is rumor. Music means a lot to me + it translates for me into art. We could discuss this.

3. It appears now, due to prohibitive transportation costs and the complex engineering of the Ice Bag, that it will not travel to Osaka but be built here (LA) by Gemini Ltd, in edition [insertion: of five] + perhaps shown at MOMA or during tour of my show. The six foot model here is very promising, it moves too. Size projected is 24 ft diam. and 11 ft high."

- Claes Oldenburg, letter to Ellen H. Johnson

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