Shotgun Review

Cure (orange, cherry, and grape)

By Shotgun Reviews March 29, 2012

The sculpture Cure (orange, cherry, and grape) (2012) by Walter Robinson represents three different flavored lollipops: orange, cherry, and grape. Instead of candy, these “lollipops” have the almost life-size heads of a man on the end of their sticks. The man seems middle-aged or older because of his many wrinkles and expression lines, his baldness, and his facial hair. Each head is exactly the same except for its color. The heads are sparkly and shiny with clear glassy eyes staring straight at you.

I really connected to this piece because it reminds me of when I am sick. If I am sick, a Popsicle or lollipop can be part of a “cure.” Even though candy is supposed to make you feel better, the lollipops in Cure actually scare you. The man does not seem happy, so the work does not want to make you eat these lollipops even if you could.

The expression on the man’s face can be confusing at first. It is hard to know exactly what he is thinking or responding to. His stern gaze and turned down mouth gives you the impression that he is frustrated or angry. Although this is not what the piece's artist looks like, I imagine that these sculptures represent his internal feelings at difficult, maddening times of his life. He must feel as though he is held back in some way, which might cause him to lose his temper.

When I first looked at this piece of art, the colors were deceptive. The way the light shines on each different color makes the face seem more and more angry: the orange head looks the least angry, whereas the purple head looks the angriest. I think it appears this way because purple is the darkest color, so the facial features look darker and more menacing. Because there are no details and viewers do not know what is going on around him, we make up our own stories about this man. We may never know who he is or why he's angry, but that’s the fun part—it leaves you with a mystery to solve.


Walter Robinson. Cure (orange, cherry and grape), 2012; polyester resin, wood, epoxy, metalflake; 36 x 6 x 6 in. each. Courtesy of the Artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco


Portraiture Post Facebook is on view at Catharine Clark Gallery, in San Francisco, through April 7, 2012. This review was produced as part of the Art Smarts workshop held in conjunction with 826 Valencia.


Lilah Beldner is a thirteen-year-old seventh grader who goes to Live Oak school in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Her favorite subjects are humanities and math. Lilah goes to the San Francisco Ballet School and loves to dance. Part of her interest to do the Art Smarts workshop comes from her parents, who are both involved in the art world.

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