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Got Em'

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted: June 26, 2020

Artist Description: "At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want" -Lau Tzu My first tokenized 3D object.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

What to make of Got Em’? What to make of the six-armed faux-god/goddess who sits, spinning, amidst floating spheres and purple spires interweaved like an elongated spinal cord around them? What to make of anything in artist Glass Crane’s piece? Got Em’ may very well be what it appears to be: a trippy visual inspired by Eastern religious mythology (you’d find this image well at home in Hindu or Buddhist traditions, for sure; certainly there’s an influence here). It might also be what it seems to suggest that it is, which is some grand meditation on spirituality, perhaps, or how religion tends to wipe the individual facets of a thing away from it:  personality stripped away in favor of elaborate dressings, like the purple tentacles and tines. It might be those things. But then, that seems to ignore the piece’s title, Got Em’, and the fact that the aforementioned central figure, sitting there so emotionless and innocent, is engaging in a teenager’s schoolyard game. And yeah, you just lost it.

Have you played this game? To my knowledge, it has no name, but the general flow is as follow: Someone calls your attention, either with voice or eye contact, down below their belt, usually to a thigh area, and if you look down there, and if you find yourself looking at their hand, and if their hand is making the shape of a circle —thumb touching index finger— with middle, ring, and pinky finger extended —as Got Em’s God is doing— then you’ve lost, and the person who “got you” gets to hit you twice on the arm before give you a soft swipe down your tricep for good measure. 

Which is an objectively silly, stupid, and childish game, fun as it may be. Nevertheless, it is integral to an image which, otherwise, appears high-minded and self-serious. 

And so we have no choice but to see this piece as the dichotomy it is, a meeting between the highest-minded of spiritual ideals and the absolute lowest of schoolyard games. They are inexorably linked now, providing a really quite effective demonstration of the totality of human experience. Even in the most serene and otherworldly of images, there’s still such lowbrow bullshit. 

Quickly, let’s go over the image itself, because its construction is intricate and unique and worthy of examination. As mentioned, a spiritual figure, with six well-placed arms, sits cross-legged in the air, its body as chromatic as the Silver Surfer, its breasts bulging but without definition, its face calm but without expression. This figure appears elsewhere in Glass Crane’s work, the stripped away human being sans hair, eyebrows, nipples, and subsumed in silver. Affixed around the figure’s naked waist are two bulbous straps made of some purple, metallic substance, which is itself bolted into a solitary piece of grey stone, segmented into hexagonal cylinders like a honeycomb. Other external appendages affix themselves to the figure, namely a floating, flowing sequence of spires which twirls and figure-eights through the air, connected to the figure via two stab wounds in its neck, the effects of which —smaller purple spires— show in the figure’s face, popping out from between eyes and cheeks. Eight purple, disembodied spheres hover around the figure’s body, the eight knuckles of an invisible octagon.

We as observers are free to move the piece around at will. It’s fully interactive, to a point. We are allowed to spin the image upside down and around, zooming in quite close —though not enough to achieve any legitimate distortion— and far away, though not enough to lose detail. If left to its own devices for a moment, the image will stabilize and begin to slowly turn on its own, revealing an impressive command of light, reflection and refraction which is neither overt or ostentatious.

But again, it’s hard not to notice the silliness of this piece. Yes, there are two hands engaged in the aforementioned schoolyard game. There are also two hands noticeably engaged in something called “the Shocker,” a digital sex technique that has achieved a, well, rather impressive online life. It involves putting two fingers in one place, one in another, and our deific figure here is most certainly alluding to it. So how do we reconcile the inhuman religious imagery obvious in this piece with the juvenility it also portrays?

Maybe we aren’t meant to do anything but recognize that there is contradiction inherent in the piece, as in life. Maybe it’s best to just leave the thing alone. Maybe it’s best to simply laugh at what we’ve found: sex jokes and recess roughhousing amidst high-minded quasi-religious imagery. Maybe the piece is meant to symbolize that the totality of human existence —which would then be the totality of what those Eastern religious influences might call God— incorporates not just traditionally high-minded ideals but also all the sex, fart jokes, and crassness which —avert your eyes, Evangelicals!— also exist. But it’s quite possible that this piece is merely intended to shock; knowing parties, after all, will get a smile and a laugh realizing that they’re in on the joke. Those without such awareness will still get to interact with a pretty, and pretty interesting picture. 

Or maybe Got Em’ is a joyous shout, because we weren’t expecting to get got, but then we got got regardless, and now, having gotten got, Got Em’ gets to rejoice, the getter of the gotten, with all the religious might one feels in the moment. Lord of the Schoolyard. King of Dipshit Teenagers. God, in some smaller, stickier sense. 

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