"Sculptural Qualities" by Hunter Madsen

"Sculptural Qualities"


Stage directions, such as the given title of this image, can help to pre-channel how the mind will approach visual subjects and take pleasure from seeing them.  For anyone, this shot of violently mangled car wrecks piled skyward is rife with calamity and death. Yet all subject matter contains aesthetic features that can be diverting, and we wish to divert ourselves from death more than anything.  I have shot and toned this image so as to call your attention to the pile's sculptural beauty and coloured highlights, as well as to more subtly reassuring signals that this is only an art piece, not the actual wreck itself. I do this, feeling thankful - as you probably are, too - that long ago our species evolved a powerfully analytic brain based in our frontal cortex to complement, and sometimes distract, the primordial limbic brain, seat of our fears. With inherently upsetting subjects, our neocortex can grab the steering wheel and hold on, but usually just for a short time before the limbic "lizard brain" takes over again, whereupon our instinctive response to a catastrophic tableau of this sort is to look away and veer off.  Eyes on the road, friend.


TITLE - "Sculptural Qualities"
WHERE - Arctic Car Sales, El Cajon, California (2017)