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Bradbury in bronze

May 12, 2008 | 12:58 pm

If you're visiting the Pasadena Museum of California Art this week, may I recommend something?

On display is the California Art Club's 97th annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition. Look for the winning bronze sculpture, "Fr. Electrico" by Christopher Slatoff. Study it carefully. Walk slowly around it.

From the front, it depicts a father carrying his exhausted son in his arms.


From behind, the father's back is engraved with symbols and images -- an intentional

reference to the Ray Bradbury character known as "Illustrated Man."


If you're a Bradbury fan, then the sculpture's title probably already alerts you to a connection with the author -- Electrico is a character in Bradbury's novel "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

There's yet another layer to the story of this sculpture's origin. Initially, Slatoff hoped it would be of Bradbury himself. Instead, the author suggested an alternative subject: He remembered, as a child, being carried home by his father after a long day spent at two circuses. For Bradbury, the image of a father with his child in his arms is a "Pieta" of sorts.

If you want to see it in person, hurry up: The exhibition closes this Sunday, May 18.

Nick Owchar

Photos: California Art Club