Looking into the eternal images of Russell Crotty’s paper and acrylic globes at the Miami Art Museum is a humbling experience. The detailed pen and watercolor drawings of cosmos over southern California stretched over 3D spheres reminds us of how truly small we and our problems really are.
The exhibit consists of nine globes varying in size from 8 to 46 inches with an additional globe, commissioned by the museum, of the night sky over the Everglades. The larger pieces have both poetry and prose (mainly from travel magazines) written on them as well as a view of the southern California tree line. Smaller pieces consisted of only stars with the exception of passing meteors on one.
It’s easy to over think this exhibit as the infinite white specks covering the blue and black spheres invite contemplation. However, still speculating possible meanings about the exhibit almost a week later is a bit obsessive. For instance, I doubt that Crotty – an astronomer who has worked in collaboration with NASA – chose to have an equal number of globes as planets in our solar system as merely a coincidence. I also don’t think that the amalgamate of poetry and travel writing adorning the terrestrial landscape was accidental either, but I’m unsure of his message.
However, a minor problem with this show is that physically, there isn’t much to it. The space housing the showcase is small with stark white walls; only one lonely placard describing the size and materials of the spheres hangs by the entrance.
Overall though, the show is quite compelling and thought-provoking, despite its small size and lack of information, both posted and printed. While it’s easy to feel cheated coming out of this exhibit, it isn’t something seen everyday.
Miami Art Museum is located at 101 West Flagler St., directly across from the Metrorail government station. General admission is $5 and students with a valid ‘Cane Card can come in free. The exhibit runs through June 27.
Jonathan Twiggar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.