MIKE MANDEL MOSAIC TILE PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
University of Oregon - Eugene OR, 2004
One inch porcelain and glass tile
3 cylindrical columns
4.5' diameter x 22' height
This project honors the long history of football at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The history of college football mirrors the social history of American life at large. What is specific to my approach is that the artifact quality of the photograph is maintained.
These designs derive from photographs of actual students at the University. They are not abstract representations, and they connect to the real, lived experience of Oregon football, whether it be from 1930 or 2003.
For the first column I've chosen to juxtapose a contemporary cheerleader, with an image of a 1950's receiver clasping ball overhead, suggesting connection in the physical ballet of the sport. The second counterpoints a leather-helmeted player standing straight-on with the ball, stolidly posing for his portrait, while on the other side, the ball-carrier is caught in action between strides, running down the field during a game. The third column is a "continuous team," playing off the photographic convention of the team portrait where each team member is tightly positioned next to each other. In this design there is no left or right, no beginning or end, the team portrait goes full circle forever.