“I was thinking about how I could emphasize this message of environmental responsibility. And then it became clear. I’ve got to really make this big. I’ve got to make something that normally feels benign impossible to ignore” – Paula Crown
JOKESTER is a large-scale sculpture series by Paula Crown. Originating from her installation work — SOLO TOGETHER — JOKESTER takes Crown’s solo cup sculptures and brings it to a monumental scale.
JOKESTER serves as a reminder of consumption, waste, pollution, and re-use. The work embodies Crown’s commitment to tying her artistic practice to concrete social change – specifically, the mounting climate crisis. The signature 10-foot red sculpture acts as a stop sign, encouraging individuals to pause and examine how we shape our world, how our world shapes us, and the marks we leave behind in transient moments.
Coinciding with the growing global call to radically examine our reliance on single-use plastics, JOKESTER has become a visual symbol of recent campaigns by consumers to push businesses to use more sustainable products. Plastic straws have been removed from many establishments and the company Ball has recently introduced an aluminum version of the famous cup responding to consumer concern over the environmental impact of the standard single-use, disposable cup. Programs with various organizations have created community engagement around the sculpture, including a collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation to clean up one pound of plastic waste from Miami beaches for every photo shared on Instagram during Art Basel Miami Beach 2018.
“Single-use plastics and our insatiable appetite for natural resources continue to threaten our environment, and, frankly, our existence,” says the artist. Crown asks: ”What happens to all the plastic we use only once and toss? Who cleans it up? What are the permanent traces we leave behind?” drawing attention to our position as complicit consumers who have the power to change our legacy.
JOKESTER is currently installed in Upper Gondola Plaza at The Little Nell in Aspen and in Miami’s Design District where the work is the most Instagrammed site in the famously photo-friendly neighborhood. The work will be included in a Sculpture Biennale opening Summer 2020.
We have the power to change our legacy.