I Could Not Outrun the Giraffe Sculpture by Joel Selmeier

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Shot in overcast. Built for indoor or outdoor display. I'm in it for perspective.
Stainless reflecting the haze.
Closeup outdoors under overcast sky of stainless steel sculpture.
Sunlit on a snowy day.
Extreme closeup shot in rain with stainless sculpture in horizontal position for moving.

Art Description

Sculpture: Metal on Stainless Steel.

I like to create art that will outlast our civilization, like the Sphinx or Stonehenge. I like for it to say something about who we were. I like for it to be eye-catching enough to draw someone's attention the first time they see it. And I like for it to be interesting enough for them to continue to look at it from time to time. That's why I chose stainless steel and spent so long figuring out how to give it color and form that, to me, could feel like music. Working on this one felt like composing music. I was at the point with this technique that I could think about it like that.

I worked full-time for nine months, making a number of prototypes, to develop this. I put the final prototype in a friend’s yard where I could watch it for a few years to see how it held up in the weather. Other art I was making was selling well enough to keep me too busy to return to it for 20 years. In the meantime the friend had moved away. The prototype is now near Washington, DC where they say everyone who comes to their house stops to talk about it. It has held up fine. An earlier and smaller prototype that was in my backyard all that time has held up as well. Even that kept drawing so much attention that I finally thought I should pay attention to that fact and make this one. This is the first finished piece from all that effort that I am selling.

Someone asked if it would bend in the wind. To test its strength I pounded on one of its prototypes with a piece of construction lumber that was 2 inches by 4 inches by 8 feet long until the lumber broke. No mark was left on the prototype. It won't bend in the wind.

Currently it is 120 inches long because that enables showing it indoors in a gallery. If it is purchased for outdoor display, before shipping I weld 30 inches to the bottom that go underground. No cement is needed for installation. All that is necessary is to dig a post hole, slide the sculpture into it, and then back-fill around it with the dirt that came out of the hole. I have sculptures in parks, on campuses and in church yards all over America that have been installed that way and they have held up in sustained 65 mph winds that blew down trees around them (even experienced that in my own yard). Sometime in the next thousand years it might be necessary to move the sculpture. That is difficult to do if it is in cement. I prefer they only are buried in earth.

Welding 30 inches onto it could increase the shipping cost by $100 since it will be longer and heavier, but if Saatchi can arrange to let me drop it off to the truck depot, rather than having them pick it up from me, it will cost less even though it is longer. That is the way I have been doing it for the last 20 years with other sculpture.





I Could Not Outrun the Giraffe

Joel Selmeier

United States


Size: 12 W x 120 H x 12 in

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