Own

The Dizzying Art of Barry George

It's the rare artist who encourages you to touch his stuff, a shame, since even the most accomplished work can always benefit from a provocative smudge of "Cheeto Orange". Actually hoping you'll get handsy, Barry George

George is an ACC sculpture professor who spends his "office hours" in a wood-stove heated tin-roof shack in East Austin, drawing from time-tested blacksmithing practices and an NYC art-school education to craft kinetic steel structures that, like your own...structure, require manipulation to achieve full effect.

Many works are powered by bike cranks, like the overhanging "Icarus", whose doomed wings flap with help from the guts of two 10-speeds; "Downhill Racer", a cowboy-hatted figure who, with your help, backpedals a mini-tricycle uphill; and a you-make-him-soar bird called "Peace Dove Flying", which should absolutely be renamed "When the Doves Fly".

Somewhat political pieces include "Talking Head", a monstrously metal-faced suit whose mouth moves via a butter-churn mechanism, and "Missile Pecker", a hard-hatted soldier with a pumping, red-tipped wang activated by a "breast drill", far more effective than pressing your palms together and saying "I must, I must, I must increase my bust".

Being quite large and very good, much of George's work will set you back a pretty penny, though he does craft affordable pieces, from key-catches, to yard accessories like steel dragonflies and bird baths, or, once you're done splashing around in one, "Real Cheddar Cheese" puddles.