Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bowling Alley Mural Review: Crystal Balls

In the realm of artists, there is one brand of hero who plogs through the world of oils and watercolors without recognition, the muralist of the lanes. The distal walls of bowling alleys are invariably adorned with the labors of heretofore unrecognized Picasso's whose works form the backdrop for sporting drama. Much like the architect who designs a ballpark, the bowling alley muralist provides an often unappreciated ambiance to our bowling experience. Their work is out there and in your face, yet for some reason, it is also barely noticeable. It is time recognize these neo-classicists of the hardwood.

Today's review concerns the work Crystal Balls by Anonymous. This piece combines geometry, surrealism, and irony in a Dali-esque composition. A series of crystalline balls sit in the foreground upon an obliquely chequered floor. Masterfully rendered distortions of bowling pins, blue skies, and clouds can be seen through the balls. The humor of the artist is expressed in the juxtaposition between ball material and the drilled holes which appear transparent and opaque, respectively. Clearly this is not intended to portray reality in a really realist sense of the word, nihilistically speaking. Just as crystal balls permit insight into future happenings, crystal bowling balls speak to a bright future for an artist who first imagined this remarkable composition.


  1. I believe the crystal ball first appeared in a 16th century fresco in Des Moines.

  2. Actually, that well known occurrence was predated by a crystal bowling ball depicted in a Roman mosaic in a villa on the outskirts of the Jordanian site of Petra.

  3. That is a trippy looking mural. I'm not sure if I would be able to concentrate on the pins while that thing was staring back at me. Very nice artwork however..I don't think our local lanes would ever pony up the $$ for something that nice.


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