This past summer, Boston was home to a herd of colorful, lifesized model cows decorated by artists for CowParade, a global art education and charitable fundraising project that benefits local charities in each of its host cities. Among the fiberglass bovines grazing the streets of Boston was “Rhinestone Cowboy,” a creation of artist Lynn Furick ’04.
“I was motivated in large part by the opportunity to take on something huge,” Furick said regarding her decision to apply. After being selected, she received a beefy, blank, fiberglass cow mannequin from CowParade, and settled on rhinestones as a principal medium for her creation. After sketching her design on the model and painting the milky white surface in bright yellows, pinks, blues, and reds, with rearing mounted cowboy silhouettes, Furick coated the entire creature in 35,000 rhinestones, filling in the gaps between stones with sequins.
Inspiration for “Rhinestone Cowboy” came in part from the famous Glen Campbell song, and Furick based her design on a concept she calls “OCD Art”—endless repetition of a single action to see the artistic value in the result. “When you take something tiny and you pile it up on itself, the result is usually very visually satisfying,” she noted. “I was excited to take the OCD Art thing to a new level. It’s fun to look at from far away, and it’s gratifying to come in close and get a better look.
“The most rewarding part of making the cow was something I hadn’t anticipated,” she adds, “having so many hands involved in the making of [it].” Originally given five weeks for the project, a shipping delay left her with just three, and several friends helped Lynn affix the thousands of rhinestones to the cow in the cold basement of her boyfriend’s apartment, the only place she could find large enough to work on the project.“ Once we were done, we all just stood in the glow of the finished project. ”To honor her friends, Furick included their initials on the left hind of the cow on what she calls the “Thank You Leg.”
Each of the 100 Boston cows were auctioned off in September, about half of them, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” in a live auction, and the rest online. Proceeds from CowParade Boston, including the $8,000 fetched by Furick’s creation, benefit the Jimmy Fund.
Posted February 01, 2006