Saturday, October 5, 2013

Caboose Art, or "ordinary, yet impossible realities"

A piece from Kim Adams' new installation, Caboose.

Earlier I wrote about how Canadian installation artist Kim Adams used models from Rapido Trains and other manufacturers to create Artist's Colony (Gardens).

Artist's Colony (Gardens)

As you can see in the photo, he piled rolling stock on top of each other and arranged them in various ways to create sculptures that “resemble fictional worlds and imaginary landscapes.”

Adams is at it once again with model railroad rolling stock, this time using cabooses from Rapido Trains.

Titled--naturally--Caboose, he continues his "exploration of miniature worlds and exemplifies his long-term fascination with model building," according to the Diaz Gallery website in Toronto, where his work is being displayed.

In this latest installation, he re-imagines train cabooses "in ordinary, yet impossible realities." They are set into buildings, gardens and parking lots.

Weirdly, they also have cranes attached to their roofs, as if to "they were the sites of new condominium developments." 

Yet, the website goes on to say, "people depicted in these curious worlds are occupied in mundane activities such as yard work or cycling and seem unaware that such strange occurrences surround them."

For a long time, model railroaders have argued that our hobby is art. Seeing works by Kim Adams, I think we can now officially say the answer is yes--although in an unusual sort of way.

It also answers a question I never thought to ask: What would it look like if I put a crane on top of a Rapido caboose? Now I know.

(It may also provide an answer for why you can't find Rapido cabooses in your hobby shop--Adams bought them up.)

As for Adams, I have no opinions one way or the other about his art. All I can is good on him for making a living displaying and selling what most of us do as a hobby for our own private enjoyment.

Meantime, I think I'll go explore my parts and junk boxes. If I glue various pieces together in interesting ways, maybe I can make and sell some art, too.

Learn more about Kim Adams and see more of his caboose and other art here. You can also visit his Facebook page.

Adams has also found a creative use for containers.