Michael Grab is an artist that has been ‘rock balancing’ since 2008.
These rocks, says the artist, are not glued, not Velcroed. This is not a trick.
There are big rocks pirouetting on little ones, little ones dangling on top of big ones, pebbles tightly clumped and suspended in air …
Much of his recent work has been done around the Boulder, Colorado area. Grab finds the process both spiritual and therapeutic.
In an interview on Compliment Vices, he describes what happens when he builds these sculptures in front of live audiences, which, apparently, he’s done a few times — in Costa Rica, in Italy.
Once, at the Boulder Creek Path Festival in Boulder, Colo., a guy came up to him and said…
“My brother absolutely does not believe these are balanced like this. He thinks there’s bars or glue.” He demanded proof that these sculptures were for real.
On his site gravityglue.com, Grab explains:
“The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on.
Every rocks is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks.
By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another.
Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself.
Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.”.
I’m not sure what that means, but it’s my sense that the man’s got great hands, hands that can feel the exact weight of a stone and a mind that can concentrate, and somehow get inside these stones, and, as he puts it, “Become the balance.”
I think Michael, when he does this, crosses the line between animal and mineral.
For a brief time, he is what he builds.
Michael Grab at work. A few moments of meditation…