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Claes Oldenburg - Dropped Cone

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Susan Zheng

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of Claes Oldenburg - Dropped Cone

Dropped Cone - Claes Oldenburg I chose Claes Oldenburg because I
liked his art style. It was very straight
forward and appealing to the average person
due to its’ simple and comical nature. They were
also larger than life; this also added to the
humour of his art.

The artwork I chose is called the Dropped Cone. It was created in 2001 as collaboration with Coosje can Bruggen, his wife. It is located in Neumarkt Galerie, Cologne, Germany. The mediums used were stainless steel, reinforced plastic, balsa wood, and painted with polyester gelcoat, commissioned by Neumarkt Galerie. Reason & Intro Art Elements Line is used here to determine the
diamond pattern on the waffle cone.
Most waffle cones have a sort of geometric
pattern on it, and Oldenburg chose a simple
diamond shape. This also suited the squareness of
buildings surrounding it. This is also an example of
repetition, with the repeated pattern on the
surface of the waffle. The colour is very simple,
with only ivory, a light brown and a darker brown.
The simple colours don’t distract it from the rest of the
composition, and compliments it by being understated.
The white of the ice cream also contrasts against the darker
brown tones, and this makes the ivory colour glow.
The shape of it is quite complex, with the ‘spill’ or the melted parts of
the ice cream strategically placed to support the structure. The waffle
is in a perfectly cone shape, stuck to the irregular shape of
the scoop, juxtaposing both shapes against each other. Art Principles One of the main elements of this piece is scale;
it is obviously a lot larger than real life, in order to
stand out more in the mall it is located. It also gives it a comical feel because of how exaggerated the artwork is.
The composition is very simple; a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a waffle cone. The round base (the ice cream) and the diminishing tip of the cone creates a triangular frame to it, as opposed to the traditional rectangle. The tilt of the piece also juxtaposes against the rigid straightness of the surrounding architecture, making it stand out.
The focal point would be the scoop of ice cream. The entire artwork is in a sort of triangular shape, starting at the tip of the cone with the scoop as the base. The scoop is also highly textured to create the appearance of an actual blob of ice cream. In contrast, the cone retains its cartoonish simplicity. Subject Matter & Techniques It is a large waffle cone of a single
scoop of vanilla ice cream on the corner
of a shopping mall, tilting slightly outwards
with the melted ice cream supporting the
structure. The original design included several
flavours, but in the end, Oldenburg reduced
it to simply vanilla. Vanilla is the most conventional
flavour, the original flavour of ice cream
where every single brand would carry. This led to its nickname,
‘the cornucopia of consumerism’, referring to the
popularity of waffle cone ice creams and the cone shape.

Oldenburg used various techniques to create this piece. He
first created many practise sculptures out of clay to trial the stability and composition of the piece. He also studied real life dropped ice creams to see how the cream would flow when it was dropped, and he repeated this various time to reach his final piece. The artwork is created mainly using plastic, and installed using a large crane. The inside is reinforced with strong steel and balsa wood, and the plastic then painted with a polyester gelcoat. This required various steps, first creating the steel and wooden frame, then applying the plastic shape, painting it, and finally installing it onto the roof of the building.

Inspiration & Messages This artwork was commissioned by the
owner of the shopping mall the cone is
located. The owner wanted a fresh, interesting
kind of never-before seen advertisement, and
chose Oldenburg and his wife to create it. It was
unusual for the couple, but as quoted, was found
appropriate given the venue’s ‘ancient history as a
crossroads of trade’ (Source: http://oldenburgvanbruggen.com/largescaleprojects/droppedcone.htm, Artists’ statements.)
They were allowed to choose the exact location of their sculpture, but as they thought the mall was already so overcrowded, they chose to put in on top of the roof.

The main purpose of the artwork was to make that particular shopping mall stand out from the rest of the malls in the area. It also serves to entice buyers to consume ice cream, and would doubly benefit any surrounding ice cream shops as customers would be influenced by the large, wacky sculpture.
Dropped Cone by Claes Oldenburg Susan Zheng 8D
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