Friday, December 17, 2010

The Thief of Honesty

A few summers ago, artist John Ilg won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair Art Show for his work, titled Honesty:

Honesty sculpture/art at the Minnesota State Fair
In case it's not clear from my photo, Ilg used hardware cloth as a pixel grid and 316 rolled $1 bills as the pixels to form the letters. Honesty was the hit of the show that year, and rightfully so, in my opinion, for its concept and the way it slyly addressed the audience.

The bills you see randomly arranged around the edges were not intended by the artist; they were spontaneously left by viewers. This is what it looks like as the artist made it:

Honesty sculpture/art
Well, Honesty has met a less-than-upstanding fate. In today's Star Tribune, art critic Mary Abbe reports it was stolen earlier this week from an exhibit of Ilg's work at Normandale Community College.

I'm sad to hear it, but in some ways it seems like an appropriate end for the piece, which always skirted the edge of performance art.

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