Precious Metal, sculpture, by Tania Sen

3D shapes with an apex

How the “Precious Metal” came to be

Swimming in Data Smog, in an attempt to clutch on to that single straw of self-recognition, I maneuvered my way through the process of self-expression. Sharply between knowledge and the bewildering unknown.  The construction cone struck me because, functionally it demarcates space. It commands a presence of its own.  It’s 3D shape lends a display opportunity with an underlying meaning of its own.

My first work with the construction cone was Precious Metal.  Curator Schlomit Dror, then at the Newark Museum, wrote:

 “Tania Sen’s sculpture Precious Metal (2014) is made out of an orange cone …In this work Sen alludes to consumer culture by borrowing text that is similar in texture, form and color to the iconic Coca-Cola logo from the world of advertising.  She alter the words, however, to “Shared Wealth”.  The gold paint coating the traffic cone, a universally recognized object like the Coca-Cola beverage, suggest the risky outcome veneration of consumer culture may impose on notions of value and corporate wealth.”

The Coca Cola logo letters originating in Fizzy Dreams has come a long way since then. The cone itself took its own journey.  Still recall the words of the doorman at the museum, not inscribed anywhere – “What’s this?  Merlin’s Hat?”  At the time I laughed, today I wish it was…
Very recently when a teenager practiced her parallel parking using some of the unpainted cones that were stashed in my garage, I decided to take a fresh look at them once again.

Look Fizzy, translated into a tattoo design in the shape of a cone.  At a time when I was obsessing over Jamini Roy’s elegant simplicity, his cats with human eyes were what appealed to me the most!  I got Mona Lisa to cuddle one of his kitties, and put a clowder of Jamini Roy kitties on my cone Fizzy Dreams in Percentages translated into a ceiling hung giant exclamation mark!