'Pixel' Artist to Give Lecture

Last November, Willie Cole installed his divisive, sparkling “Pixels,” a public artwork comprising four huge, glittered spheres of different colors, on the grass between Loser Hall, the Music Building, and the Art & IMM Building at TCNJ.

The Pixel Project - The College of New Jersey (WillieCole.com)
The Pixel Project, The College of New Jersey WillieCole.com

The installation provoked responses both legion and varied. Some were taken aback by the Pixels, either irked to be uninvolved in the selection process or distracted by the contrast with Campus architecture. Some welcomed the piece as a bold artistic statement, but most were skeptical about its funding and confused about its message.

Cole addressed these concerns in January: according to the Signal, Cole affirmed, “This artwork has nothing to do with the money that pays for their education. It in fact is a gift to them…”

Regarding the Pixel concept, Cole said, “The pixel, as represented in this work, links art and interactive media… In sculpture, the sphere is emblematic of minimalism. In media the sphere — as an abstract representation of the pixel — is primary. It also represents the single dot of color in a pointillist painting, or the single particle that is the basic building ‘dot’ of all living things.”

From October 28 through December 8, Cole’s work is featured in IMM room 115. Most pieces comment on race and gender issues, and all of his work is political, thoughtful, and confrontational.

Today (Thursday, November 18), Willie Cole will be giving a lecture in the new Art & IMM building, room 115, at 11:30am. Afterword, we will talk to Cole about the political roots of his work, his assessment of current issues, and more. Check back here soon for the interview and photographs of some of his work.