The Sculptural World of Jose Buscaglia

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Other Major Works

Excerpts from the Harvard Magazine cover story of Nov- Dec 1983, by Prof. David N. Perkins, Co-Director “Project Zero”, Harvard Graduate School of Education

What must be the world’s strangest museum takes up the space of a football field in a particular human mind. Only one person knows this museum intimately -- José Buscaglia himself. But as artist in residence, curator, and principal audience, he enjoys rare privilages. He can put works in or remove them as he pleases, and he can alter works already there. Statues of bronze, marble, or granite take on new shapes at the least press of his thoughts.

A tour of this very private museum is not so hard to come by, because Buscaglia must be one of the least private artists alive. Many artists make a fetish of silence: the work is enough and no one needs to speak of it or about it, certainly not the artist. But, José Buscaglia is a sculptor with a maverick philosophy, a public artist in about as many senses as you can imagine.

Most simply, the majority of his works are public monuments, But more than that, he talks readily and plainly about the ideas behind his works and the way of their making. At the University of Puerto Rico, where he taught for many years, José Buscaglia worked in an open studio, sharing his thoughts moment to moment, and developing and teaching theories of creative thinking, including a technique for programing one’s dreams....

We can learn more about the invisible museum of José Buscaglia, and the less visible aspects of his visible world, just because of his novel commitment to deal plainly with the private place of his mind.... Any psychologist would have to be interested in this archive of José Buscaglia. What is it like to poke around there?

“The way I look into my (mental) file is by thinking of an idea or an emotion. And then a set of images appear or a set of possibilities or a set of ways in which this or that could be represented.” .... “ You have to be very practical and use whatever makes an idea turn up and develop. Sometimes I sit at the drawing table and start making a list of words, attributes that the thing should have, for example. I start playing with words and word relationships, and then I translate words into images and then start thinking with isolated pieces of imagery. I go back and forth between words and images.”

But José Buscaglia’s going back and forth becomes most remarkable when his file of images becomes a true museum of the mind.

All Images © by Jose Buscaglia 2007