Dustin Shuler rocks
May 14, 2010 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I had never heard of Dustin Shuler before today. So, this is not an obit post, even if I learned about his death at the same time I discovered his art in this nytimes article. So I visited his website. Although his work has been dismissed as "derivative", there is only one word to describe an artist who has created "Destruction of the Nightmare Towers" in 1977 and "Death of an era" in 1980: visionary.
posted by bru (23 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
that is a waste of a perfectly good VW body... shame...
posted by HuronBob at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2010

Man, I loved the Spindle.
posted by enn at 8:51 AM on May 14, 2010

HuronBob? Don't click this link.
Yes, that was a 1964 356C Porsche.

I enjoyed seeing this installation in Sarasota a couple years back.
posted by Floydd at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2010

Others called it derivative of the work of artists like Marcel Duchamp and Claes Oldenburg.

This is like saying a scientist's work is derivative of Newton or Einstein.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]

I really like a lot of his art, and I was saddened to hear that he'd passed away. Pinned Butterfly was my favorite. This guy "pinned" a Cessna to the side of a building. So fucking great.

And HuronBob, one of the reasons I love hanging out in museums is that I love, love, love to hear people talk about the art all around them the way you just did; no lie. Thank you. People get really candid when you shove a piece of art in front of them. It's good stuff.
posted by heyho at 9:01 AM on May 14, 2010

Dustin Shuler, Sculptor Known Best for ‘Spindle,’ Dies at 61

That figures. Two weeks after my company buys a machine to make big fucking nails.
posted by digsrus at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2010

Pinned Butterfly and other images.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on May 14, 2010

Spindle was destroyed in 2008 to make room for a Walgreens.

Gee, can't have too many of those...
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:21 AM on May 14, 2010

"Spindle was destroyed in 2008 to make room for a Walgreens. "..

So, who got the VW???

and, heyho...that was just the first thing I thought.. probably a result of pulling into a parking structure last night and seeing a great little beetle sitting there... Here in michigan those are getting few and far between.... I miss my beetles....
posted by HuronBob at 9:25 AM on May 14, 2010

I get no love or access to anything at the dustinshuler.com domain (last three links in post). Nelson's got some of the images covered.

I live not far from where the Spindle once sat - while awesome, it was a bit of an eyesore so the outcry was pretty muted. I thought it should have stayed.
posted by zenon at 9:40 AM on May 14, 2010

Spindle was destroyed in 2008 to make room for a Walgreens.

Not only that, there was an existing Walgreens a couple of hundred feet away, but now all Walgreens must have 'drive through' windows, therefore a brand new building had to be built leaving the existing corner location after at least 40 years. So no more Spindle. There was an ongoing fund-raising drive to relocate it, but to no avail and no one could store it.

The monument to car culture destroyed by car culture.
posted by readery at 9:48 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

His work is a bit derivative of Dinsdale Piranha.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:49 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I got goosepimples when I clicked through the prescient links, thank you Bru
posted by infini at 10:02 AM on May 14, 2010

Thanks for this. The car pelts are wonderful: a seemingly facile gimmick that unfolds into something unexpectedly beautiful.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on May 14, 2010

Ah, I though his looked familiar. His work "Bumper to Bumper" is on the Moscone Center parking garage on 3rd st in San Francisco.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:37 AM on May 14, 2010

I enjoyed the toy fossils and Barbie pieces more than I should have. Because if I think it's funny, then it's not art, right? I'm not supposed to be entertained?

Seriously, I thought the way he used feathers in many of his pieces was really nice, actually.
posted by emjaybee at 11:07 AM on May 14, 2010

Wow! Pterodactylus mechanicus is *fantastic*! I'm going to make one of those - what a great centerpiece that would be for any room!
posted by Michael Roberts at 11:27 AM on May 14, 2010

I saw "Bumper to Bumper" on my way to work every day for 3 years, always wondering what it's story was, now I know. Thanks!
posted by ryaninoakland at 11:57 AM on May 14, 2010

Very thought-provoking work. A shame that Spindle was destroyed... that was always a risk due to its location.

Frankly I thought the "car pelts" were fascinating and oddly lovely. "Destruction of the Nightmare Towers", on the other hand, gave me weird goosebumps.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2010

A complete history of Cernak Plaza, home of the Spindle, is located on this excellent retail nostalgia site. "Pleasant Family Shopping" is more about the history of retail of course, but Shuler's artwork plays a prominent role in this particular post, which is very well researched.
posted by AirBeagle at 12:13 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Huh - false alarm. Now I can get to it fine. Considering I do the IT @ work, I'm going to do what I usually do.... blame voodoo.
posted by zenon at 9:26 PM on May 14, 2010

Shuler's "Spindle" - along with James Wine's "Ghost Parking Lot" in the Hamden Plaza Shopping Center near my hometown - was erected thanks to the patronage of shopping center development tycoon David Bermant [warning: awful flash site circa 1999], who as a collector and businessman had such sculptures installed in several of his shopping centers across the country.
posted by bubukaba at 9:58 AM on May 15, 2010

From Warren Ellis' blog, a Steven Shaviro quote about science fiction that fits with "visionary" and could be used about any kind of art:
(...) all science fiction, actually exists to cast a shadow over the present. "It shows us how profoundly haunted we are by what has not yet happened,"
posted by bru at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2010

« Older Obama’s besetting political fault is his automatic...   |   Godspeed Atlantis Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments