“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,” said Crown. She was referring, of course, to JOKESTER (2020), the towering replica of a crushed plastic Solo cup installed in downtown Milwaukee during Sculpture Milwaukee–an annual event when A-list artists fill the revitalized Third Ward district with sculptures that not only prompt viewers to take selfies, but also provoke them to engage in timely discourse.
Crown’s 10-foot-tall sculpture–a super-sized piece from her SOLO TOGETHER series–encourages individuals to pause and examine how we shape our world and how our world shapes us. “Single-use plastics and our insatiable appetite for natural resources continue to threaten our environment and, frankly, our existence,” said Crown. JOKESTER serves as a reminder of consumption, waste, pollution, and re-use. The work embodies Crown’s commitment to using art to inspire social change and to raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Viewers are inspired to ask: ”What happens to all the plastic we use only once and toss?” “Who cleans it up?” “What are the permanent traces we leave behind?” The decision to install this piece in the Third Ward was deliberate. The site is adjacent to Milwaukee’s Summerfest–a hub of activity each year that attracts thousands of visitors, many who neglect to pick up their own trash.
Crown’s giant red cup, crafted to perfectly mimic the throw-away culture we live in, served as a shameful reminder of how we treat Mother Nature.
Listen to Crown’s thoughts on JOKESTER at the link below.