“Ghost Writer”

“Ghost Writer” is a suspended sculpture created by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter in 1994. It consists of 2500 separately cast aluminum elements suspended on 900 wires.

There are three segments to the composition:

  1. A head composed of over 1500 cast aluminum letters. The head is both androgynous and a composite of world racial and ethnic types.
  2. A spiral passing through the center of the piece. It is a metaphor for imagination and creativity.
  3. Ambient symbols floating throughout the piece. Within the piece there is historical world sculpture imagery, as well as intentional words.

Historical Sculpture Imagery in “Ghost Writer”

  • Venus of Willendorf (Germany, c. 25,000 B.C.)
  • Minoan Bull Leaper (c. 3,500 B.C.)
  • Nefertiti (Egypt, c. 3,500 B.C.)
  • Inuit mask
  • Tlingit Mask (Huna tribe, Chacogf Island, 19th c.?)
  • Tsimshian Mask (British Columbia, 19th c.?)
  • Spirit Mask (Lower Congo, Gabon, 19th c.?)
  • Seneca Mask (New York, 19th c.?)
  • Donatello Niccolo di Uzzano [“the Lawyer’] (Italy, c. 1430)
  • Easter Island Stone Heads (16th c. or earlier)
  • Iroquois mask
  • Cree carved wooden Head (Manitoba, 19th c.)
  • Aztec Head of Laughing Child (Mexicao, 8th c.?)
  • Olmec head (Mexico, 6th c B.C.)
  • Dance Mask (Cameroon, 19th c.?)
  • Head of Buddha (India, 6th c. A.D.)
  • Head with Three Faces (Angkor, c. 1200 A.D.)
  • Brancusi Sleeping Muse (1909) and The Kiss (1907)
  • Picasso Head of a Woman (1932)
  • Giacometti head The Nose (1947)
  • Henry Moore Mask (1929)

Words Encrypted in the Sculpture

doubt | charity | joy | silence | sex | laugh | habit | trust | hope | faith | focus | work | listen

These words are often visible only from odd angles with the letters different distances from the viewer.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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