(USA) *1952 in Wichita, Kansas
Tom Otterness was represented in Bad Homburg in “Blickachsen 7” by the bronze sculpture “The Lion and the Mouse” – a characteristic example of his highly popular figurative work, which was on display in the Schlosspark. Since the mid-1980’s Otterness has worked mainly in bronze. Though his work is clearly influenced by popular culture, fairy tales and comics, Otterness also lists art history as a source of inspiration. His works often seem at first sight to be light and full of humour, but at the same time they also always have a political dimension; they represent or play with power structures, social value systems and human experience. His bronze sculpture “Head”, on display in “Blickachsen 8”, recalls the busts of ancient Roman portraiture by virtue of its size. Otterness himself has said that a bust of Hercules in the Vatican museums served as an inspiration for this work. But in contrast to the Roman works, the anonymity of Otterness’s head makes it not a portrait. The circular holes instead of eyes make it seem more of a mask, its empty gaze putting the observer under its spell.