Avatar #27, 2006. Concrete, metal, and paint, 9 x 8 x 5 in.

Don Porcaro: The Monster and the Child

New York-based sculptor Don Porcaro makes intriguingly shaped, highly enjoyable art from industrial mixed media—concrete, metal, and paint. His whimsical, off-beat forms speak to a humorous view of life, a combination of what he has described as “the monster and the child.” Although he prefers to describe his enigmatic works as Dada rather than Surrealist, his sculptures nonetheless possess a freedom of form that broaches the unknown. Often they look like unearthed artifacts from a culture that we admire without fully understanding. This ambiguity contributes to the work’s power and charm: the pieces challenge the dictates of our imagination, employing a comedic presence not so much in conflict with as aided by what seems to be a historical awareness of fully self-sufficient aesthetic fundamentals. As a result, Porcaro’s work stands at the cusp of meaning and non-meaning, humor and seriousness, in ways that enhance our vision of volume and surface, structure and color. It appears, then, that his whimsy and humor have a purpose, in the sense that they lead the viewer to a heightened awareness of three-dimensional form.