Golden Arber Sculpture by Harry Bertoia at the 510 Fifth Ave Building

This morning I was diligently researching Harry Bertoia, mainly reading more into his life story and his works. I read on the Harry Bertoia blog that his daughter Celia, who also runs the Harry Bertoia website, had recently set up a Facebook page to house information on up and coming events involving Harry’s works and also a place for fans to congregate. This led me onto finding this fantastic film produced by Joe Fresh, a brand I’ve not really had experience with before, which showcases the return of the “Golden Arbor” screen sculpture and a mobile made by Harry Bertoia. These two pieces were originally removed from the 510 Fifth Avenue building which will now be Joe Fresh’s flagship store, thank god they’re back in their rightful place. Although the building has been defaced in a lot of ways I didn’t really want to touch upon the negatives of this project, these can be easily researched, rather I wanted to highlight the video which really blew me away as we get to see inside the Bertoia studio and also the ideology behind his work.

I think the branding of the film itself isn’t exactly to my taste, mainly in terms of the concept of why this is all happening, but the actual film production and the quality of the old clips is extremely exciting. When I see things like this I really am in awe of the designer and it gives us a behind the scenes look into the mentality of the individual and why he designed like this. The specific sculpture mainly talked about in the film is titled “Golden Arbor” and is basically a six-ton screen in copper, nickel and brass which runs 70 feet across the west wall of the mezzanine. It was made by Harry to be sympathetic to the international style at the time and was built up using layers of brass on steel. I found it interesting to hear Harry’s son Val talk about his fathers sculpture explaining that it was “emotions solidified into the metal” and that it looked like “a moon that was gold plated”. What I like about this piece personally is the size and proportions of this structure, although giant it’s amazing to see such an organic suface on a metal sculpture, it’s always changing from every direction you look at it. Quite unique really.

Whatever way this is a must watch! I don’t think I can stress it anymore than I have already, you will definitely learn a lot. I have to mention that the director Steven Sebring has done a fantastic job with the vision, particularly the editing that merges the older footage of Harry with the newer footage inside the building, it creates quite an effortless transition as people talk and discuss. The music by Fourviere Hill also adds to the whole flavour of the video as well.