by Arthur Bauman
Height 24" Max. Radius 19"
I began making mobiles in 1968 in Amman, Jordan, while stationed at the U.S. Embassy. I saw two films on Alexander Calder which the State Department had sent around to the more isolated diplomatic posts and I was entranced. So in my leisure time I took up making mobiles, at first with whatever materials were at hand: clothes hanger wire, tin can tops, and even yarn left over from my wife's rug-making.
Then, seriously hooked, I bought some tools, aluminum sheet and spring steel wire. I continued to make mobiles at posts to which I was assigned, and gave three exhibits abroad -- in Jordan, Morocco and Belgium.
In 1972, while on leave in the United States, I gave an exhibit in Fort Myers, Florida, and the owner of a gallery on nearby Sanibel Island offered to show my work. Later, while still in the Foreign Service, I gave exhibits in Germany and at the National Museum Art Gallery in Singapore.
Anyone who makes mobiles owes a huge debt to Alexander Calder, who after all invented the art form. But I soon developed my own distinctive style and artistic vocabulary.
I am especially interested in structure and in creating a piece that is well balanced esthetically from whatever angle you may see it -- with its three-dimensionality.
And when you watch a mobile move in an air current, as it shifts and revolves, you add the fourth dimension, time. As with music and dance, it's a performance.