wood, nails, beads,
mixed artifacts, electrics
10" x 10"
(photo by Daniel Herron)
© Ron Orpitelli 1992
Born out of a broken heart, this
piece is a visual representation
of a battle I'm sure many fight to
reassure themselves that in
spite of some external spikes,
inside their heart really is rich
Sad to say, one of my strongest
memories of making this piece
is fairly perverse. After adding
the nails to the outer case, I
experimented with adding
oatmeal to achieve the desired
crusty texture. Instant oatmeal.
With raisins and cinnamon.
After glopping it on, I placed the
piece outside in the backyard to
dry in the 100+ degree heat.
Later I went outside to see that
the piece was now a solid
swarming mass of ants. I was
riveted. It was an incredible
visual with the nails sticking out
through the writhing insects.
That's still one of the most
arresting visuals I have ever
Alas, it was impermanent (to say
nothing of being more than
slightly off track from my plans).
So once the ants had their fill, I
retrieved the piece and did some
rethinking and retooling. But I
always remember those ants
when I see this piece.
Contributed as part of the
Second Annual Recycled
AIDS Medicine Program
Silent Art Auction in San
Francisco, June 2007
(fundraiser for RAMP's
operating budget and
support for Zimbabwe
AIDS Relief. Please visit
their web site at: