Opinion

Sesame Street Explains Sculpture

Screen capture by Hyperallergic
Screen capture by Hyperallergic

It takes a lot of work to carve a sculpture, but apparently muppets have all the strength it takes. On the April 18 episode of Sesame Street, “sculpture” was the word of the day and the little red fuzzball Elmo teamed up with chiseled Mad Men star Jon Hamm to give viewers a quick history of the medium, from Rodin to David Smith.

Elmo is seen decked out with an artsy beret hammering away at a huge block of granite. “Sculpture,” Hamm says, “is a piece of art that’s made by shaping or carving something, or by putting things together.” Elmo’s not ready to reveal his masterpiece, so Hamm jumps into action and grabs some examples: a riff on Rodin’s iconic “Thinker,” made of clay; a kitschy, Brancusi-like abstraction made of marble; and a metallic David Smith lookalike.

Screen capture by Hyperallergic
Screen capture by Hyperallergic

Finally, Elmo’s ready to show us what he’s been working: a Mount Rushmore-style portrait — of himself. Hamm seems pretty impressed, but then, it’s no Kodak Carousel pitch. Check out some of the sculptures Sesame Street might have been inspired by below.

Rodin's "Thinker" (Image via wikipedia.org)
Rodin, “The Thinker” (Image via wikipedia.org)
Costantin Brancusi, "Mademoiselle Pogany" (1913) (Image via fakebrancusi.blogspot.com)
Costantin Brancusi, “Mademoiselle Pogany” (1913) (Image via fakebrancusi.blogspot.com)
David Smith, "Cubi VI" (Image via wikipedia.org)
David Smith, “Cubi VI” (Image via wikipedia.org)
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