Why must I sculpt a WOMAN lawyer?

“You were supposed to make one of the lawyers a woman!”

I like Catalan sculptor Xavier Corbero. I like his abstract style and the shape and scale of his pieces. One of them sits in the lobby of a beautiful Chicago office building, 77 W. Wacker Drive, which rents to many prominent law firms like Dechert, Jones Day, and McGuire Woods.  It’s entitled “Three Lawyers and a Judge.”

Xavier Corbero Three Lawyers and a Judge lobby

But the first time I looked at it closely, I couldn’t help but imagine a conversation that occurred after they installed it, getting a protest from someone on the board, or a law firm tenant, that the four brawny abstracts look too manly. “We can’t show four professionals without a woman!  Which one’s the woman lawyer? Quick! Put some breasts or lipstick on one of them, before anyone notices!”

Instead of breasts, looking completely out of context, this rough-hewn piece has a highly polished woman’s calf and pump seemingly slapped onto the base of one of the “lawyers.”  I can almost hear a frustrated Corbero exclaiming:

“Fine!  Here is your woman lawyer.”

Ernesto Corbero Three Lawyers and a Judge SHOE

I’m sure that’s not what happened. Corbero has used this style of anachronistic polished shoes at least once before, in the The Broad Family sculpture in England.

But it still looks like an afterthought to me.  Why? I have no idea.

But there it is.

Xavier Corbero Three Lawyers and a Judge lobby 2

 

Xavier Corbero Three Lawyers and a Judge SHOE DETAIL

 

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