Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod –

Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod  –

"Pan with his Ipod"

"Pan with his Ipod"

If I am going to be honest I have never really been a big fan of classical figurative sculpture but after being introduced to the work of California based artist Adam Reeder I may have rethink my position. Judging by the pictures on his website, Reeder is a very accomplished artist with a particular talent for classical style sculpture and drawing but it is his most recent project titled “Socio-Technic Evolution” that really caught my attention. As you would expect, classical themes and subjects are an integral part of Reeder’s artistic practice but with his latest series he has taken the conventions of classical sculpture and added a 21st century twist. “Sleeping Gamer”, “Atlas With his iPhone” and “Pan With His iPod” are the titles of a few of the sculptures that are part of the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series which, as the titles suggest, are no ordinary classical figures.

I was so impressed by the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series that I thought that I would ask Adam to explain the concept behind these works and how he came up with the idea.

This is what Adam has to say about his work:

They are all based on the concept of how technology changes the way western culture interacts with it’s world. To display this, I have combined technological objects with Greco-Roman gods, or iconic Greek sculpture. This is because the Greco-Roman period is the root of western civilization. My work is not about the change that takes place but the change in interaction, facilitated by technology.

Pan with his mp3 player is the first in the series. It has won first place in the spring show at the San Francisco Academy of art university, as well as getting into other shows. My goal was to combine iconic Grecian images, and god’s with well known technological objects. The Grecian images and god’s were to represent western culture. The Greco-Roman empires are known as the root of western culture. I avoided using anything from the Cartesian time periods so as to keep the religious contexts out of the discourse.

The technological objects should change the context of the original image, but not the nature. Arguably, any change could change the nature of it. However, my thought was that the nature of the interaction between the image and the object, would not change the way the image would have originally interacted. I used Pan with his mp3 player as the example for my final proposal. The Greek god Pan, used a flute which he played in the wood and danced with nymphs. My depiction shows Pan, still dancing as before, but no longer playing his own music. Thus, the technology changes the context, but not the nature.

This work is not about consumerism, or commercialism. Rather it is about how technology changes the way in which Western culture interacts with it’s world. This body of work should remind the viewer of pop art, because pop art showed viewers what they were consuming in popular culture. It should also feel like an ad campaign.I like the fact that the initial reaction upon viewing (even for me) is, “oh great, another classic figure”, then upon closer inspection, the viewer recognizes these iconic technological objects and it all comes together.

I have seen that process happen in the eyes of viewers, and have been told about it from museum directors, gallery owners, exhibition organizers, and art agents. This thesis stemmed from an internal reaction I had to my 6 year old daughter’s request for an iPod for her birthday, as opposed to a Barbie, or easy bake oven. I became acutely aware at that moment, that technology was changing the way western culture interacts with its world.

To clarify, this is not a series of sculpture about a little girl, or about how I feel about the change which is taking place. My Thesis is simply a playful reflection of that change.

To see more of Adam’s work go to

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

7 Responses

  1. Hi Nichilas,
    I am a stone sculptor from across the ditch, in New Plymouth, New Zealand.
    As I am always looking for new opportunities and the Australian market is unchartered territory for me, please take a look at my work .
    Renate Verbrugge
    New Zealand

  2. I have seen Adam Reeder’s work and it is even more amazing in person! That guy has an interesting future ahead of him.


  3. Adam has a really amazing talent. His style is unique and makes a clever statement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of his work abroad.

  4. Thank you Nicholas for sharing your opinion on Mr. Reeder’s work. I am a fan of his sculptures as he captures the combination of history and today. “Pan with his Ipod” is one of my favorites. As a musician myself I just don’t walk down the street playing my piano or flute. I can only imagine the days of the Greek Gods with musicians playing as they roamed the city. Had they known the technology of the Ipod I’m quite sure that they would have rocked out! Adam captured this idea beautifully.

  5. Great work! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Great work. found an audio interview of with Adam.

  7. I am sorry….this is Pan we are talking about here……where is his penis??? Lets be methodologically correct: Pan is a priapic symbol.

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