Skip to comments.Late Brooklyn Artistís Mystery Solved
Posted on 04/16/2014 2:38:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Marty Resnick installed his sculpture on the grounds of Kingsborough Community College before moving in 1975 to live off the land in Southeast Ohio. The origins of the scrap metal artwork puzzled faculty members for decades.
Friends of an enigmatic artist have solved a Manhattan Beach whodunit that has stumped locals for four decades.
A rusting sculpture on the campus of Kingsborough Community College has puzzled faculty members who long ago had lost the identity of its creator if they had it to begin with.
When they were doing the inventory they had no record of the sculpture, Kingsborough Art Gallery Director Peter Malone told The News. So it was this mysterious thing.
The sculpture was eight feet tall, made of scrap metal and somehow anchored into the ground between a pair of trees. It survived Hurricane Sandy and widespread construction on the campus, but no one seemed to know its origins.
They didnt know what to do with it, said Malone.
That changed late last year with a call from Ken Gordon.
The Brooklyn film historian and Kingsborough alum wanted permission to hold a memorial service for his pal Marty Resnick, who died in August of cancer of the esophagus and they wanted to do it next to his baffling sculpture.
They had no idea who he was and what that thing was, Gordon told the Daily News Monday, nearly 40 years after the sculpture was installed on the edge of the 70-acre Manhattan Beach campus, near a school gymnasium.
Resnick and Gordon attended Kingsborough in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Howard Fields, a friend of Resnicks from James Madison High School, was a frequent visitor.
They were into music and art. Resnick and Fields played together in a band called Home Grown. Eventually, Resnick grew tired of the hustle of his home borough, bought 200 acres of forest land in Southeast Ohio and moved out. He left his sculpture, The Ten Commandments, behind and probably never saw it again.
Resnicks back-to-the-land move to Ohio wasnt novel in the early 1970s, but Gordon and Fields said hes one of the few who never gave up. He spent the next 40 years living in cabins he built himself, scratching a living from his artistic talents and refusing to take a conventional job.
Fields, who became a drummer for Harry Chapins band, stopped by while on tour in 1979.
Marty never had running water for 40 years, Fields recalled. He lived like Grizzly Adams.
Fields returned last July after learning his friend had cancer of the esophagus. Resnick died a month later.
Gordon and Fields have planned a memorial for 11 a.m. on May 15 with the help of the college. A new plaque will identify Resnick as the artist and explain a little about how the sculpture was made, but not why thats still a mystery.
It is enigmatic, just like him, Gordon said. And it is a puzzle, just like he was.
It looks like the things on the bottom are the top of Hebrew letters.
And then you get an artist says he doesn’t want to paint at all
He takes an empty canvas and sticks it on the wall
The birds of a feather all the phonies and all of the fakes
While the dealers they get together
And they decide who gets the breaks
And who’s going to be, who’s going to be
In the gallery
It's not as awful as I was expecting.
According to the article above:
He left his sculpture, The Ten Commandments, behind and probably never saw it again.
Art? Hell, that’s 20 minutes walking around in a scrap yard.
Surprisingly I think I get it and I have to say the work is perhaps ahead of it’s time or the artist was a visionary. The article said it was called “The Ten Commandments.” Think about it, that is exactly what is happening to morality in this country as well as the rest of the world. The Ten Commandments are no longer taught in schools and fewer kids go to to Sunday school, so the basis of the evolution of our societies in the west is rusting away and falling apart. Which to me is what this piece of “art” represents. Sad.
Heavy scrap metal.....$200 a ton.
Well said and I agree. It's no wonder they didn't know what it represented. Seems not very many people know right from wrong these days.
The poet Blake said a “thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
Lots of bad outdoor sculpture on college campuses along these lines. I wonder if this is the piece that started the trend.
Oh my science! This has to be removed immediately!
Does that say “Danforth” at the bottom?...
That's what I thought, too, when I married my now ex-wife. Turned out not to be the case.