Stuart Bacon, QPSA  

Stanford Ball One by Stuart Bacon, QPSA

August 2022 - Stanford Ball One

August 2022 - Stuart Bacon, QPSA


About the Image(s)

The group that I bike with often rides in the Stanford University campus as it has many quite interesting sculptures throughout the area. On one plaza, surrounded by classroom buildings, are many large spheres - giant marbles large and small- that have been carefully placed around the area. When I saw them, I immediately wanted to return with my camera. While the balls were interesting it was difficult to photograph them because of what was in the background. But I did the best I could so for this one after converting the IR to b/w in Photoshop I wondered What next? After experimenting I came up with what you see and rather than a soft transition from dark to light I made it sharp and the result is unusual, just like those marbles! Little was done except darkening the surrounding area and toning down a harsh glare on the ball.

5 comments posted

Chuck Nauman   Chuck Nauman
Very unusual, Stuart. Is there any explanation as to what they are about? If I was a student there, I'd want to see if I could roll them around. Could you remove that hot spot at the top center of the marble?   Posted: 08/07/2022 19:06:08

Nelson Charette   Nelson Charette
Very interesting image. It's fun to find something a bit different. I like the shadow from the ball, and the image is nice and sharp.   Posted: 08/11/2022 11:33:15

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
Well, I think I know why they are there. They are placed strategically so that a vehicle can't go through the area, probably in this case the arches in the background. Unfortunately, bomb threats have caused this sort of thing, but at least they are using something artistic instead of a concrete rectangular block. I think the light rectangle and rectangular tiles are great as a contrast to the sphere and the curve of the arches. A niggly point, the grass clump on the upper left is distracting. You have a lovely abstract with just the shapes!   Posted: 08/12/2022 18:59:48

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
P.S. Are you saying Stanford has big balls?   Posted: 08/12/2022 19:00:31

Stuart Bacon   Stuart Bacon
The Stanford campus is "loaded" with unusual sculptures and other art. They are interesting to look at but nothing that I would pay to see. The story about the spheres is that the artist actually rolled marbles and then placed the spheres where the marbles stopped rolling.
The university does publish a brochure showing the location of all the art so people can wander around the campus.   Posted: 08/14/2022 08:48:38


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