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Small Sculpture in Texas ©1993, 2000 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Odd Machinations

John Snygg and his strange contraptions are odd machinations. Perpetual unemotional machines. Strangely moving thingies that go bump or click or whirrrrr in the night.

John's been a member at the flurrious 500X gallery and has shown there this makes it three times. But he usually just shows one or two machines — illegible clocks with bicycle wheel faces, or animated stick figures waving metal arms.

Snygg realizes he's getting dangerously close to becoming a capital A artist. That is, when he's not busy being a capital A actuary. But he likes his numbers just fine and has no plans for full-time arting. He knows well how very few artists live on their art income alone. On the side, in his spare time, John creates.

His pieces at 500X last fall were a vast progression from his early Rube Goldbergs. Instead of hobby piecing them together over slow months of aimless but nervous keep-busy contraptioning, Snygg now draws pictures first-a dead giveaway to purposeful unpurposed art. Then he animates the drawings into metal, wires, magnets and motors.

The kinetic pieces come alive when they are bumped or plugged into action. Large straight lines pump imaginary oil from the floor. Electric motors tug up and down strangely balanced and counter balanced beams, round and round. Electro magnets pulse teetering fulcrums and tottering line masses like primitive movie cartoons.

written for the 
Dallas Arts Kazoo 
on KNON radio,
then published in
Dallas Arts Revue #12 
December 1983


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