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Giant Typewriter Eraser.

Giant Typewriter Eraser

Field review by the editors.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Artists Claes Oldenburg (1929-2022) and Coosje van Bruggen were known for making giant scale interpretations of otherwise mundane, everyday objects -- a rubber stamp, a spoon and cherry, a flashlight. This work, titled "Scale X" is a 19 ft. 4-in. tall version of a vintage circular typewriter eraser.

Post-typewriter generations may parse it as an early Segway or an obscure Rick and Morty character, but this is one where the elders know best.

Typewriter erasers traditionally featured a rubber wheel around a hub, topped with a brush mohawk to wipe away eraser crumbs. Circular erasers for remedying mistakes on manual typewriters, around since the 19th century, evolved over decades. In the 1920s, the Eberhard Faber company manufactured them with the (once) familiar soft red wheel and brush attachment.

Claes Oldenburg had the idea to sculpt a typerwriter eraser in 1975, but it wasn't until 1999 that he actually fabricated one from fiberglass and painted stainless steel. It's in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. There's an identical "Scale X" in Seattle, and this one on a public thoroughfare in Las Vegas, which seems the most out of place to exhibit office arcana as art.

The sculpture is on the pedestrian promenade above Aria Place, surrounded by tall hotels, casinos and Strip businesses. It's not visible from Las Vegas Avenue, but walk up and you may have it all to yourself for a few moments.

If you can't erase your debts before leaving Las Vegas, at least erase your guilt here.

Also see: Claes Oldenburg: Giant Thing Artist

Giant Typewriter Eraser

W. Aria Pl., Las Vegas, NV
West of Las Vegas Blvd S., south of Harmon Ave., in CityCenter, elevated pedestrian walk over W. Aria Pl.
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