Premiered in Memphis, J. Taylor Wallace's metal Palin smoker now showing in Chicago

cook4.jpg Remember the Sarah Palin's-head-shaped smoker that Chicago artist J. Taylor Wallace used to cook a pear-stuffed suckling pig at last spring's Art Cookers 4 "Taste/See" at the National Ornamental Metal Museum? I thought it rang a bell. Anyway, the metallic visage of the Pride of Wasilla has found a new home these days. From Complex via Chicagoist (which has a bunch of pics of the Palin head):

Two years ago, Chicago-based sculptor J. Taylor Wallace created this statue in the image of Sarah Palin, and it's quite accurate--it has a big mouth and it takes up space. After unveiling it in Memphis, the piece has found a new home on the South Side of Chicago.

According to Wallace, Palin's decision to thrust herself into the debate about health care reform was the trigger for the piece. Its arrival will be celebrated at the Bridgeport Sculpture Garden, and Bridgeport Art Center will roast a suckling pig inside of the sculpture (it can be used as a stove) on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times, which mentions the Metal Museum, has this statement from Wallace:

The artist told the television station that the statue "was kind of in response to the political climate at that time, when the healthcare debate was going on. I thought she was a distraction from what was important, and it was cathartic to spend three months doing it.... It helped me out a lot."

PICTURED: J. Taylor Wallace with "We're havin' a Tea Pear-ody," his Sarah Palin-shaped metal smoker, at the Art Cookers 4 "Taste/See" show on May 20, 2011, at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis.

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