Born 1963, Tel Aviv, Israel
Lives and works in San Francisco, CA

Year created:
Male Baseball #1, Yoram Wolberger
Click images for larger view

84" x 65" x 29"

Bronze and chrome
Lent by the Mark Moore Gallery

No longer on view.

Familiarity breeds fascination for Yoram Wolberger. The artist has been creating sculptures modeled after figurines since 2001; from green plastic toy soldiers to bride-and-groom figurines, no trinket is too common or too small to appear in Wolberger's cast of characters. "I am drawn to familiar objects: symbols of security and intimacy, known to us from ordinary domesticity," he writes. "By enlarging miniatures to life-size, emphasizing their irregularities and odd proportions, I hope viewers will see the 'familiar' in a different light."

In Male Baseball #1, the artist has taken another ubiquitous figural object, the baseball player atop Little League trophies nationwide, and turned it into an eight-foot sculpture. Wolberger cast the bronze and chrome figure in a mold created from a three-dimensional scan of a common plastic baseball trophy. This process both preserves and magnifies the deformities and inaccuracies of the mass-produced original; a pinched seam slices vertically through the sculpture and the face and hands are barely articulated. Radically enlarged, and recontextualized from household mantel to museum grounds, the familiar token of athletic participation is revitalized and recast into a gleaming public monument. In this way, the artist conflates the visual languages of private and public commemoration to raise questions about both modes of figuration.