Milk, a contemporary wall-hanging sculpture 8.2 feet long 2.4 feet tall, now located in the Faulconer Gallery, was made by artists Lucy + Jorge Orta in June, 2010. The sculpture is a large collection of seventeen free-standing cast-aluminum milk containers with a variety of shapes, patterns, and heights. The white containers are placed in a row on a long black shelf with glassy surface.
The milk containers are designed based on different geometric forms such as cylinders, pouch-shapes, rectangular prisms, cones, and cubes. Most of the milk containers’ bodies are rounded and taper from where the ridging ends and the edges smooth out to the top.
On close inspection, one can observe the artists’ sensitivity to detail, as displayed in the caps, handles, logos, and patterns. Every cap is highly detailed and has regular vertical ridges that imitate steel and plastic. On the bodies, the two artists made sunken ridges and dashed lines to vary and decorate each container. Two pouch-shaped bags have uneven, natural wrinkles that suggest the idea of fluid inside. Their surfaces are relatively rough compared with others and there are some barely perceptible creases on them. The artists made perceptible logos on the front side of two of the cylindrical bottles. With epoxy painting and meticulous shaping, the milk containers are realistically mimicking other materials such as plastic, glass, and steel.
The use of black and white color makes an obvious visual contrast that also contributes to the overall success of the artists in creating an accurate representation of milk containers. The interaction of contrasting colors emphasizes on the contours and shape and establishes a prominent effect on the sculpture’s dominance and attractiveness. In summary, the optimal variation of containers makes the entire sculpture neither monotonous nor chaotic, and the designs made by Lucy+Jorge Orta create a quiet and contemplative artistic unity for viewers.