BOULDER, Colo. –
Cydd West never tried to sell his work before he recently decided to move back home to Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Since the eccentric artist came to Boulder in 1981, most of his unique sculptures and creations — made out of recycled odds and ends — once belonged to the public.
West said the saw blades, shoes, dolls and bicycles that adorn his Goss Street condominium, “Dr. Cydd’s Museum of Time”, are a form of visual poetry — a constantly shifting stage play that uplifts spirits and heals those who see his work.
“It’s truly been delightful to see people smile as they walk by,” he said.
West usually puts his “guerrilla art” in the places he frequents, like the Folsom Street Coffee Shop and adjacent Laundromat.
“I think he’s pretty enlightened,” said Chris Warner, owner of Folsom Street Coffee Company, who displays West’s “Cosmic Crossword” and “angelic” flying coffee pots in his shop.
“He makes these amazing pieces out of what other people deem as castoffs and trash,” he said. “I’ve never seen anyone who has such a busy mind, seeing things that no one else would ever see or appreciate.”
West also made ambiance artwork in the mid 1990s for Pearl Street’s former Dot’s Diner location and the Penny Lane Coffeehouse.
“It’s been a long-term investment,” he said. “Not in terms of money, but ideals.”
The Vietnam War veteran said the ugly face of war caused him to actively repay karma to find value in his life, and he makes his spiritual art to help people he hasn’t met.
“The only thing I can do is give back like other people have given me,” he said.
After almost 30 years away from home, West said he wants to visit friends who are getting older, presenting the dilemma of leaving his art behind.
“I ended up creating this,” West said. “There would be a big emptiness if I left everything.”
West isn’t sure when he will leave for New York — two or three months, he thinks, when the weather is ideal for bicycling.
In the meantime, West is accepting bids for some of his sculptures, like the gleaming replica of the Flatirons in his front yard made from more than 80 recycled irons.
“I know what would make me come back to Boulder from New York,” West said. “It’s what made me come here in the first place — the sunshine and the weather.”