Saturday, December 30, 2006

Betye Saar, recyclist.

Inspiring piece on the L.A. assemblage/collage artist Betye Saar
from NPR yesterday.

“Saar first glimpsed real art as a child, visiting her grandmother in Watts.

Today Watts is best known as an urban black community infamous
for the 1965 riots.

In the 1930’s, it was a racially mixed place where this young black girl watched an Italian immigrant by the name of Simon Rodia as he pieced together what would become the glittering spirals of the Watts Towers.

‘He had a big car and he would see these piles of rubble and he would
go through it,’ Saar remembers. ‘And he wanted to make something monumental. And he put these steel structures up and covered them in cement and pressed shards of ceramics, of plates, I've seen corn cobs in
there, I've seen tools. It’s like, the cement is wet, what can we put in
here? I think that was the beginning of me becoming an assemblagist
or recycler.’ ”