Giraffe of Pencils by Frederico Uribe

Why This Is Awesome: Back in February, I had the pleasure of working onsite at the Montclair Art Museum for a short project. While I was waiting for my colleagues to arrive, I decided to take a quick visit up to the second floor encouraged by the well-placed video and signs advertising the new “Animalia” exhibition by Frederico Uribe.

Words cannot adequately describe the stunning works in this collection, but I’ll try. The entire exhibit centers around the recreation of the animal kingdom with found objects throughout our environment. Some objects are recyclable; others are not, but all have been discarded. Uribe uses everything from plastic detergent bottles, worn out sneakers, landline telephone cords, outdated textbooks, bullet casings, old shovels, abandoned luggage, and broken pencils to bring his creation to life. And it is with those same broken pencils that he crafted this magnificent beast jutting out from the wall in the image above.

Needless to say, I was impressed from beginning to end by this entire installation — a site specific one, by the way. But the giraffe honestly took my breath away. Perhaps that’s why I found a still photo alone wouldn’t do, so I moved quickly to capture the work of art on video as well (see below). Either way, the entire exhibition is worthy of more attention, which is great because it’s on display until January 2021.

It may be too early to make plans before we know when the quarantine will end, but if you get a chance to experience this remarkable exhibit in person, please add it to your list. And if you miss the window before the show closes next year, hopefully my lotus moment will help you understand why I had to step back and take it all in.