Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Art in Unexpected Places

I had a minor scrape with the car at the weekend, which meant that I had to take it to the dealer yesterday to get it repaired. This meant that I had to go out to the northwestern part of Chicago, to a suburb called Niles (where my wife was raised, as it happens). There's not a lot to do there while you're waiting for four hours, so I walked a few miles to a Catholic cemetery. When I got to the middle of the cemetery, I came across a series of well-designed memorial chapels faced with this mosaic mural:

Photo of mosaic mural in Maryhill Catholic Cemetery Chicago

I think the artist was somebody called Wilfredo Bonsol, thought I couldn't find any information on him online, so I'm not sure. But the skill in the mosaic tiling is really impressive. Look at the gradation of tones and hues in the sky:

Close up photo of mural at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery Chicago

In between the interment crypts, I found a bronze statue of the baptism of Christ, again a well-executed piece, kind of old fashioned in its theme, but made in a style that reminds me of religious sculpture from the 1950s:

Photo of bronze sculpture at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery Chicago

The suburb itself is mainly just houses, highways, and shopping malls, sometimes without any sidewalks (so I was occasionally forced to walk on grass embankments to avoid the cars). And yet, purely by chance, I found this large green oasis amid the mainly featureless district, and some pretty impressive and visually appealing pieces of art.

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