You know it when it hits you. You’re stopped dead in your tracks, turning the pages, contemplating the pictures and words, wanting to know more of the artists who crafted them. I was perusing the bookstore at the Anchorage Museum, looking for nothing in particular, when Double Moon caught my eye. This was back in 2009. I bought the book on the spot, and couldn’t wait to get home and sink into its contemplative matter: the artful combining of Margo Klass’ constructions of found objects (she combs beaches, river banks, and junk shops for everything from old doorknobs to sticks of birch), and her spouse, writer, Frank Soos’ responses to those constructions. It’s rare when you receive a sudden whack on the side of the head in response to evocative art that shimmers. I keep this striking book close at hand so I can absorb the comfort of the artist’s lovely pairings of “Constructions and Conversations.”
A little bit about their bios before I share with you their work.
Margo’s influences are derived from the study of medieval altarpieces, the art of bookbinding and the Japanese architect Tadeo Ando. Her constructions have been exhibited in galleries and private collections from Maine to Alaska.
Frank’s published works include Early Yet, Unified Field Theory, and Bamboo Fly Rod Suite. Frank and Margo live in Fairbanks, Alaska.
“Klass often uses skylight-type panels that viewers can’t completely see. The short prose pieces written by her husband, Soos, often deepen the mystery behind Klass’ work, increasing the viewers level of engagement.” (Juneau Empire)
So here we go…for a glimpse of a couple of Alaska’s finest artists.
What’s so bad about not knowing exactly where you are? To round the corner and be taken by surprise? To look out the window and find a new world is waiting outside? With my driver’s license safely in my pocket, I have permission to get out and go, to find a place where I might learn better who I am.
Rock Paper Scissors III
Notice the size of the scissors. We’ve entered the delicate phase of the procedure.
Yes, there will still be cuts, but they will be made with greater precision.
And the rock? Smaller, too. Made for a more accurate aim. Will it still hurt? We haven’t figured that part out yet.
Find the solution to this puzzle and the red ball will spring free.
You’ll have a red ball pulled loose from the tricky ins and outs that kept it running from side to side.
You’ll have a red ball with nothing left to do but get itself lost under the couch.
To know I’ve gathered enough wood for the woodpile. To be able to sit by the comfortable fire through the winter.
Shouldn’t that be enough?
Left alone with my thoughts while the wind rocks the house, I hear the clock humming and find myself lacking. No the world doesn’t ask too much. I offer too little.
Behind that mustache and silly grin is just a guy, a guy who buys only tools with lifetime guarantees, a guy who will wear a shirt to rags and then use it for rags. When will it light up the tiny bulb of his brain: love is something that might lend itself to the job at hand, that might wear itself comfortably in,
that might grow to be a part of who he is?
Remember when it snowed early that time? I think it was the fall of ’92. It bent the trees still full of leaves over just like that.
My father was in the hospital, far away, having his chest cut open, his heart repaired. That day, he almost didn’t make it.
Come spring, we all thought the trees would right themselves, straighten right up. But they didn’t. They never would.