Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This is Magdalene.

We drive by her on the way to the Bears game. She is at the corner of Michigan avenue and Congress.
Visit the artist's page.

Why? Why does this sculpture grab me and it won't let me go!! I am not a huge art fan, I know very little about art. I like the impressionists and I like landscapes. I have no art collection and really, don't have the attention span to learn about art. But this lady has me so curious. Do you think I could find anything about her?? It wasn't easy!

Dessa Kirk

Dessa Kirk is known for her tall, graceful sculptures of the nymph Daphne, and large-scale lilies created from old Cadillacs.

Dessa began working with metal as a child in Alaska where she spent summers with her grandfather at a remote gold mine. A resourceful man, he encouraged Dessa to make whatever she could envision or draw. Together they welded and built machinery in the mine. Dessa's teen years were difficult, but her devotion to sculpture paid off when she landed a scholarship at Chicago's School of the Art Institute. She stayed in Chicago after graduating in 1996, and in 2006 she bought a building on the city's West Side that doubles as her home and studio.

As a teenager, Dessa watched the many prostitutes working the streets of Anchorage. These women were controlled by pimps whose greatest desire, aside from power and wealth, was to own a Cadillac. By crafting her large lilies from old Cadillacs, Dessa restores beauty and dignity to objects that came to symbolize the degradation of women. Her Daphne sculptures represent strong women who have found freedom through faith, surrender and acceptance, themes Dessa says are at the root of her work.

Maybe that's why I am so drawn to this piece of art. This sculpture is a fantastic thing to see. It must be twenty feet high and in the summer, there are vines growing up her skirt!


  1. Wow, she is something to behold. Especially in that first picture. I love the artist's story, too.

  2. That is an amazing work. She seems so powerful and FREE, ya know?

    "2006 she bought a building"-obviously a lot of people appreciate her work! lol.

  3. What a wonderful story about the artist of this beautiful sculpture!! I love it that she used cadillac parts to make things of beauty and to restore dignity! That first picture you can really see the details and it truly is breathtaking!! xox

  4. That is such an amazing sculpture -thanks for telling the story behind it.

  5. I can see why it captures your imagination. It's really beautiful. Interesting story too. Thanks for sharing it.


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