Claes Oldenburg is a contemporary artist who transforms everyday objects into the unusual. Often he does not change the actual look of it, but the function is clearly changed; the use of scale and texture in his work is the most interesting and thought provoking part of it. Please pardon my lack of dates and dimensions; it was quite difficult to find that information for some reason.
"Soft Toilet", 1966
wood, vinyl, kapok fibers, wire, and plexiglass on metal stand and painted wood base
This piece is one where he plays with texture and again sight. This looks as if a porcelain toilet has literally deflated. You can’t help but think of sitting on this to do your business! The white shine mimics the porcelain look and that is what is most deceiving.
“Screw Arch” 1984
This piece I think is easiest to see a purpose with in it. Not only are these pieces extremely giant compared to their normal everyday size, they are cleaning up giant pieces of trash. Maybe he is trying to show that our world is actually full of trash, and something large and powerful is going to have to clean it up someday. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the color and look of the broom, because it makes it less real for me somehow.
“Soft Drum Set”
This soft drum set is similar to the one he did with the toilet, and he also done a bath, light switches, and more. This one also is close to my heart because I love to play music, not the drums, but the guitar and the piano. And when I think about someone playing any instrument that is droopy and soft, the music it was intended to make would no longer be made. It’s sad in a way.