“That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”
That’s what Alexander Calder once said about his work. Translated into modern street English it means: I don’t give a f*ck what you think about the meaning of my work. It just is. Use your own imagination. If you have any.
It may sound unpleasantly condescending, but I think Alexander Calder meant it more like a joke, a twisted game of words. When you are an abstract artist, people tend to grab your sleeve at the cocktail party and ask you politely but persistently: “So, what do you mean by your latest sculpture? What is it?”
And I guess, Alexander Calder just caved into the pressure and blurted out just one word: “Flamingo!”
You see, the title of this huge 50-tons bright red steel sculpture designed by Calder and now proudly standing at Chicago Federal Plaza is “Flamingo”. But it doesn’t even remotely look like a flamingo. A spider, a bird, an alien from a distant planet – yes, but a flamingo?
Does it even matter? You see what you want to see, not what you are told you should be seeing.
That’s the whole point: be free, be playful, look at the world like a child.
There is no spoon (or flamingo). It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.