March 18, 2011

"Reflection Point would feature a piece of public art and offer a new perspective of the Madison skyline."

The 2 words that scare me the most: "public art."
Residents ... want to know how the project will be funded.
Yeah, me too, but I have a way to cut the cost. Cut the public art. It's always, always, always bad. The money that is wasted on bad art in this city is so painful. I'd pay extra to get back to nothing. I'm not talking about the old statues. I'm talking about everything from the past 50 years. It's all bad. Really, really bad.

110 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

My brother calls such stuff "bart": bad art. "Look, bart!", he shouts.

SWWBO said...

Kansas City has been stuck with certain percentage of the cost of every public building being forced to be spent on "Public Art".

That's why Bartle Hall (the convention center) has "Sky Sculptures" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bartle_Hall_Pylons_from_12th_Street.jpg

Better known as the "French Ticklers".

former law student said...

I would make an exception for Claes Oldenburg:

http://oldenburgvanbruggen.com
/largescaleprojects/hats.htm

blake said...

*golf claps*

That was just awful, wasn't it? Truly, truly bad.

Revenant said...

The only public art I've seen that I liked were the cows in Chicago.

SWWBO said...

Darn, looks like the link was not complete to the Kansas City French Ticklers - here is the correct link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bartle_Hall_Pylons_from_12th_Street.jpg

former law student said...

Bartle_Hall_Pylons_from_12th_Street.jpg

I like them. They look like they should hiss and crackle with electricity.

James said...

Kansas City has been stuck with certain percentage of the cost of every public building being forced to be spent on "Public Art".

Columbus, Indiana made the same choice but the results have been excellent. Anyone who has a chance should visit that city; I lived there for a year and I can't recommend it enough.

Columbus, IN Architecture & Public Art

Carol_Herman said...

Back in 1997 Tom Wolfe wrote an excellent piece on how the art world was turning its back at the crap being displayed at the Whitney. Basically, he starts off by saying Picasso's stuff won't be memorialized in the centuries ahead. And, the crap that passes for art will be produced by artists with no name recognition, or claim to fame.

I wouldn't be surprised, either, to learn that the "money found" for this comes from the famous "stimulus" that was suppposed to lift us out of our recession.

No, it hasn't worked out well, after all.

Meanwhile, at the Whitney, an artist sploshed vomit on the floor. And, it was considered "installed art work." But the Whitney runs on a Foundation. And, it is run by crazy people.

vbspurs said...

Bob Ellison wrote:

"Look, bart!", he shouts.

Well then, the joke's on Bart Starr, who thinks folks still remember him.

Monona Mom said...

You can't possibly be referring to that lovely, inspiring corncob outside Camp Randall, are you?

EDH said...

Heck, even in Massachusetts bad art has been privatized, at the Museum of Bad Art, "Art Too Bad To Be Ignored."

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms. Our growing collection of works of Bad Art awaits your discerning eye.

edutcher said...

Not unlike the clothespin in Center City Philadelphia.

vbspurs said...
Bob Ellison wrote:

"Look, bart!", he shouts.

Well then, the joke's on Bart Starr, who thinks folks still remember him.


Actually, they're talking about Bret's younger brother.

PS Carol, that's why I'm one of those people who say modern art isn't.

vbspurs said...

I struggle to recall the last bit of GOOD public art that I saw.

I don't know if you guys caught wind of this story in some "News of the Weird" segment in your local newspapers, but Miami is currently hosting the hot pink snails which originally were from Rome and Paris.

They were removed from South Beach because some japester threw one into Biscayne Bay.

Now they grace the toneyist neighbourhood we have, Coral Gables.

Here they are.

This is what I imagine Hello Kitty would envision, if she were a city planner.

Cheers,
Victoria

Drew said...

The only public art I've . . . sort of enjoyed . . . was that on our university campus. Created by students, put on display by students, usually at about the quality of students, too. And funded by their own tuition money!

LarsPorsena said...

Public housing
Public restrooms
Public health
Public education
Public art

Quick, what images pop into your head?

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TMink said...

Government subsidized anything besides the military sucks now don't it?

Trey

Luke Lea said...

How about nothing but statues? Isn't that the way it used to be?

vbspurs said...

EDH wrote:

Heck, even in Massachusetts bad art has been privatized, at the Museum of Bad Art, "Art Too Bad To Be Ignored."

Now, see, this is what I LOVE about Americans. They don't sweep their mistakes under the rug, but instead celebrate them with Razzies and Jay Leno's Jaywalking segments.

Believe me when I tell you that this trait makes you guys incomprehensible to most foreigners, especially Europeans.

Reminds me of when a South American lady of my acquaintance told me, "I can't believe Americans like that Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin!".

It would've been upgraded to at least a duplex in Argentina.

Atom Kid said...

I've never been a fan of government funded art. It's way too close to having the government commission propaganda.

Salamandyr said...

Government subsidized anything besides the military sucks now don't it?

Honestly the organizations that gave us SNAFU and FUBAR don't have a whole lot to recommend them either. It's just there aren't really alternatives to them.

Phil 3:14 said...

Better known as the "French Ticklers"

As a once frequent visitor to KC I always liked those "pillars" at the convention center. Now that I know their "real name" I'll never look at them the same.

I always thought they were a modern echo of this

Steven said...

Nothing can top Richard Serra's "Tilted Arc."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilted_Arc

The first time I saw it, I swear I thought it was a construction fence.

Phil 3:14 said...

Isn't this "public art"?

rocketeer67 said...

I like Vigelandsparken:

http://www.visitnorway.com/us/Articles/Theme/What-to-do/Attractions/Vigelandsparken-sculpture-park/

TosaGuy said...

The of the first things newly elected Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker did was kill some really bad public art for a parking garage at the Milwaukee Airport.

former law student said...

Back in 1997 Tom Wolfe wrote an excellent piece on how the art world was turning its back at the crap being displayed at the Whitney. Basically, he starts off by saying Picasso's stuff won't be memorialized in the centuries ahead.

Nothing dated faster than Wolfe's verbose hyperbolic "new journalism." Were it not for The Right Stuff he would have no legacy.

LarsPorsena said...

Government subsidized anything besides the military sucks now don't it?

Honestly the organizations that gave us SNAFU and FUBAR don't have a whole lot to recommend them either. It's just there aren't really alternatives to them.

The current military had also coined the phrase "Embrace the Suck". The inhabitants of Madison are going to learn the wisdom that this entails.

peter hoh said...

Victoria, I thought that piano on a sandbar was some excellent public art.

By the way, a sculpture park is not the same as public art.

There might be something in the distinction between art that is purchased for public display and art that is commissioned for public display, but my knowledge of the field is limited, and I haven't got time to research this.

Coketown said...

I have a theory, backed up by historic precedent in all fields save music, that the more hostile a country is to art, the better the art of that country becomes. Hostility produces Dr. Shivago; indifference produces Moby Dick; endowments produce shit like Richard Bausch.

Coketown said...

@Peter: The piano on the sandbar was litter. It wasn't art. Or maybe it was only art to well-read sophisticates, while everyone else was scratching their heads and lamenting how idiotic the art world has become.

wv: sadder. Draw your own conclusions.

vbspurs said...

Heya Peter!! ...but wasn't that piano on a sandbar (which I agree was great) just some prank by a teenager?

wv: arkopsy (autopsies in Arkansas)

vbspurs said...

Isn't this "public art"?

Oh, is that Shankman's HANS?? I swear, thought it was Jefferson Davis!

Sotarr the Wizard said...

Reminds me of a stunt we pulled in my undergrad days. The campus was filling with hideous objects that were supposedly "art". So several of us took some rebar, a smashed grocery cart from a junkyard, and a section of I-Beam, and welded it into a random mass, then spray-painted it International Orange, and dumped it in one of the plazas, with a fake placard pedestal, naming the piece "official art object".

It's STILL there. We placed it there in 1982. . . .

Florida Gator said...

Shouldn't Ann be providing us with some military music to accompany our reading of this thread?

peter hoh said...

Coketown, I suppose I might have made my comment more clear had I included a smirk.

michaele said...

I'm becoming more alert to public monies being wasted on ornamental frou frou stuff and it pisses me off. There is a new community college being completed in my area and it seems to have an endless brick pillar/ wrought iron fence. The masons have been working on the pillars for months. Then when the stupid thing is done, it will take a ridiculous amount of manpower to keep it weedeated and mowed. All that wasted money could have gone to fund student scholarships or hiring additional teachers.

James said...

The of the first things newly elected Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker did was kill some really bad public art for a parking garage at the Milwaukee Airport.

I remember that like it was yesterday; the sculpture was Dennis Oppenheim's Blue Shirt

peter hoh said...

Victoria, I didn't read any of the follow up reports, but I'm not surprised to learn that the piano on a sandbar was a teenage prank.

I think we should repurpose more teenage pranks as public art. (I'm not talking about graffiti.) For one thing, the piano on a sandbar prank was a hell of a lot cheaper than if some conceptual artist had done it.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

I think we should repurpose more teenage pranks as public art.

Sort of related: I had a friend who created site-specific work in the manner of Andy Goldsworthy.

Once, two police officers hiked out to the stream where he had built some cairns to investigate reports of teenage satanism going on.

Goldsworthy, by the way, is one of the great living artists. When my wife taught Western Art History she like to end with him. After the cold moderns and hostile post-moderns she wanted to give the students something beautiful to take away.

Phil 3:14 said...

OFF TOPIC WARNING!!

Wow, the storylines that can be written

Now that's narrative!

lemondog said...

The Desert of Forbidden Art is the antithesis of public art.

Igor Savitsky seems single-handedly to have saved 40,000 works of art banned in the Soviet Union.

Eager to see the documentary.

The Crack Emcee said...

I still think Saturday Night Live - and especially U.F.O. and NewAge-obsessed Dan Aykroyd - shouldn't be talking.

vbspurs said...

Phil: I've heard of black face, but black hands??

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Lemdog, that looks like a great documentary. Of course, it's going to be shown by the evil PBS in April.

Chip Ahoy said...

I like public art that you can climb on like the Sergio Bustamonte's all around Mexico.

A lot of people, mostly prepubescent males, like the giant blue mustang outside Denver International with the eyes that light up at night. But most adult art observers object to its livid horse's ass.

Apparently, the artist gave his life for this statue when a portion of it fell on him during construction and crushed him to death.

rsb said...

Cool, I can go see the Ooh La La Les Legs episode. Truly awful film.

Chris said...

"Always, always bad"? Always?
"All bad"? All?

Have you ever been to Daley Plaza?

Remember that when the Eiffel Tower was errected, it was reviled at first and then loved.

Most of the time, we cannot know what people will love or hate 50 years from now, let alone next year.

But according to you, it's not even worth trying.

Instead of being cynical and small, why not just say that you don't like modern art?

Is that too trivial?

vbspurs said...

It's telling he had to reference public artworks from 1965 and worse, 1889, to bolster his point.

richard mcenroe said...

It usually looks better if it's covered with a t-shirt.





What?

richard mcenroe said...

"Public housing
Public restrooms
Public health
Public education
Public art

Quick, what images pop into your head?"

The same one,unfortunately. Thank you very much.

lemondog said...

Of course, it's going to be shown by the evil PBS in April.

Heh, well we paid for it.

Henry said...

@Chris -- I could argue that point too, but the odds of getting another Eiffel Tower are very, very long.

Even representational public sculpture these days is generally pretty lousy. The stiff, timid third-rate bronze bust of George M. Cohan in Providence makes me wince every time I ride by it (check out the second comment at the link).

TMink said...

fls, I also enjoyed Wolfe's Electric Koolaid Acid Test. But your point is solid. Picasso was like Miles Davis in that he drove his art for decades. That is rare indeed.

Trey

TMink said...

Chris, I really enjoy modern and post modern art. Subsidized art is by its very nature not viable on the market place with very few exceptions. It is bad art that we paid for that we are lambasting.

But you knew that didn't you?

Trey

Joe said...

George M Cohan was a Dalek!

ricpic said...

Almost any sculpture by the great American sculptor David Smith would satisfy the anti-traditionalists and yet hold its place beautifully in a public space. My personal favorites are the groups of wonderfully satisfying (like solid geometry) stainless steel cubes he called Cubi.

Methadras said...

Government should not be in the business of using tax payer monies to fund anything artistic of any kind. Artists do not deserve public patronage at all. If your art has merit and can stand on it's own in the public square then fund it yourself or find a private patron. There is no justification or excuse anyone can make for publicly funded art.

Phil 3:14 said...

Vicki;
Phil: I've heard of black face, but black hands??

My first thought was "huh" then I followed my own link. Well it was a white background. I love the shot of this kid holding the card with BO's image. Is he trying to hide his face?

Phil 3:14 said...

blake;
for you

BJM said...

How about Wisconsin's billionaires funding public art? John Menard is a UW-Madison Alum.

Or Senator Herb Kohl also a UW-Mad grad? His net worth is north of 100 mil. (A funny aside, Kohl's playing Where's Waldo with his party affiliation on his dot gov webpage...can you easily spot it?)

Say what you will about David Koch's politics, he's been very generous to NYC arts.

Michael said...

fls: "Nothing dated faster than Wolfe's verbose hyperbolic "new journalism." Were it not for The Right Stuff he would have no legacy."

I see. I guess "Bonfire of the Vanities" is no longer read. I guess "A man if full" is out of print and "I am Charlotte Simmons" sits on the remainder shelves.

Wolfe's distaste for the bullshit of "the modern" either in the form of abstraction in painting or the novel has been on display for years. He had the temerity to point out the ugliness in much that is afoot in the "art"world. A very conservative take on a very liberal field.

blake said...

Phil,

Well, now, that wasn't very good, was it?

AlphaLiberal said...

What's bad is linking to posts that look like Youtubes of Dan Ackroyd skits but are only still shots with no vid link.

mean.

Jeremy said...

The Queen - "It's all bad. Really, really bad."

ALl of it.

Absolutely nothing is good.

Nothing.

Not one piece of artwork.

It's ALL bad.

According to...The Queen.

PaulV said...

The wonders of Soviet art comes to Madison

Jeremy said...

Methadras said..."Government should not be in the business of using tax payer monies to fund anything artistic of any kind. Artists do not deserve public patronage at all."

History isn't exactly your strong point is it?

And I don't mean the on on top of your little head.

BJM said...

@Chris

The Daley Plaza Picasso was not paid for by the taxpayers:

"The cost of constructing the sculpture was $351,959.17, paid mostly by three charitable foundations: the Woods Charitable Fund, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, and the Field Foundation of Illinois. Picasso himself was offered payment of $100,000 but refused it, stating that he wanted to make a gift of his work."

The Statue of Liberty was donated by the French people who raised the funds via donations and lotteries. Only a tiny amount of US govt funding went into the statue after public subscriptions waned as there was a hue & cry that the "rich" should pay for it and newspapers shamed them into donating the funds.

Try again.

former law student said...

"I am Charlotte Simmons" sits on the remainder shelves.

Why yes, yes it does. "Bargain Book" hardcover is only $11.23, although one Marketplace seller will let it go for $3.88

All three of these novels are steaming piles of crap, written by a self-indulgent man. I concede that he did not reach the depths of Vonnegut at a similar stage, with his sketches of assholes, but almost.

Tom Wolfe's railing against modern art is like B. R. Myers' railing against modern food writing. Who cares?

Carol_Herman said...

I copied this off of Wikipedia. And, yes. I am a fan of Tom Wolfe's work. Here, the quote refers to Wolfe's PAINTED WORD.

"Wolfe's thesis in The Painted Word was that by the 1970s modern art had moved away from being a visual experience, and more often was an illustration of art critics' theories. Wolfe criticized avant-garde art, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The main target of Wolfe's book, however, was not so much the artists as the critics. In particular, Wolfe criticized three prominent art critics whom he dubbed the kings of "Cultureburg": Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg and Leo Steinberg. Wolfe argued that these three men were dominating the world of art with their theories and that, unlike the world of literature in which anyone can buy a book, the art world was controlled by an insular circle of rich collectors, museums and critics with out-sized influence."

Michael said...

FLS: I would agree that Charlotte Simmons is not much of a read, but I would argue that Wolfe has tried mightily to be our Trollope with some success. But since he is realistic he is not considered up to the snuff required by the critics and the academy. He is an awfully acute observer of the modern scene which, I grant, is often a lot of crap.

You probably wouldn't have liked Anthony Powell either.

Revenant said...

I'm not sure if Wolfe's explanation for why modern art is so bad is true or not. Maybe it isn't.

But I'd like to know what the explanation IS. Why in the heck did anyone take Warhol or Pollack seriously?

Rob said...

How about this? Whether the art is good or bad, this country is broke. Public art should be way, way down the priority list.

blake said...

Whether a book is remaindered or not isn't really a measure of its success, but a measure of the publishers ability to accurately predict sales.

If the publisher does a run of 1,000 books and it sells 500, it's not more successful than a book where the publisher does a run of 100,000 and sells 90,000, despite having 20x more remaindered.

Those aren't remaindered books on Amazon, anyway. They're used.

madAsHell said...

yeah....somehow Dale Chihuly has captured the imagination of city governments in Seattle, and Tacoma.

I am absolutely convinced Chihuly was over-gratified during potty training. He keeps producing the SAME thing, and expects a bigger reward every time.

I agree....Picasso, Lichtenstein, Ernst....they laughed all the way to the bank. If not for Dorothy Guggenheim's promotion, they all would have been tossed on the scrap heap.

The Louvre refused to shelter any of their works during WWII.

Michael said...

Blake: You are, of course, right about remaindered books and particularly about the cost of books; new or used for that matter.

somefeller said...

Back in 1997 Tom Wolfe wrote an excellent piece on how the art world was turning its back at the crap being displayed at the Whitney. Basically, he starts off by saying Picasso's stuff won't be memorialized in the centuries ahead. And, the crap that passes for art will be produced by artists with no name recognition, or claim to fame.

That last sentence is a banal point. Obviously there are artists today who are famous who will be forgotten in the years to come and there are contemporary artists who will die in obscurity whose work will be celebrated posthumously. Anyone with a basic knowledge of cultural history can tell you that. And the same can be said for writers, which should concern a best-selling writer like Wolfe. Regarding Picasso - we shall see, but unless Wolfe has the ability to foretell the future his comment about whether Picasso will be remembered is just an unproven and unprovable opinion. The Painted Word was a good book, though, at least when I read it years ago.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

I agree....Picasso, Lichtenstein, Ernst....they laughed all the way to the bank. If not for Dorothy Guggenheim's promotion, they all would have been tossed on the scrap heap.

Yeah, well, if not for the patronage of the Medicis, the work of a lot of Renaissance artists would have been tossed on the scrap heap. Not much of a point. Patronage is as much a part of art as paintbrushes.

Kurt said...

madashell: I like your theory about Dale Chihuly. The first time I ever heard of Dale Chihuly was about eight years ago when I was on a tour of the Mayo Clinic, and the person giving the tour went on and on about how great the Dale Chihuly piece was in the Clinic's newly-opened wing. All I could think about was how much his name reminded me of Jeff Gillooly, of Tanya Harding infamy. I also failed to understand how hideous blobs of colored and contorted glass constituted great art, but I kept that opinion to myself. Since then, I've come across more and more of his works, and my reaction is generally the same. The only one of his works I regard with any fondness at all is the one in the lobby of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Maguro said...

Yeah, well, if not for the patronage of the Medicis, the work of a lot of Renaissance artists would have been tossed on the scrap heap. Not much of a point. Patronage is as much a part of art as paintbrushes.

Sure, patronage will always be important for the arts, but why does it need to be governmental in this day and age? Back in Renaissance Italy, quasi-governmental entities like the Medici family and the Catholic Church were uniquely equipped to patronize the arts because most everyone else was so desperately poor. But there's no reason it needs to be like that today, we have plenty of rich people who like art, let them provide the patronage.

Methadras said...

Jeremy said...

Methadras said..."Government should not be in the business of using tax payer monies to fund anything artistic of any kind. Artists do not deserve public patronage at all."

History isn't exactly your strong point is it?

And I don't mean the on on top of your little head.


Trust me you little verminous slug, I have a greater understanding of history in my little pinky than you could ever muster to learn in whatever pathetic shit-eating lifespan you occupy. Answer the question you walking colostomy bag, tell me why there should be justification for any publicly funded art. I'm waiting with baited breath.

former law student said...

Those aren't remaindered books on Amazon, anyway. They're used.

Then someone could make a tidy sum suing Amazon, because they represent them as new:

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such.

PatCA said...

It's always some big pointy tower thing.

No mas!

Phil 3:14 said...

Well, now, that wasn't very good, was it?

Thanks Blake. Gosh they were all so thin. Those women had to either be heavily using cocaine or have eating disorders.

I do miss Gilda Radner.

Big Mike said...

So instead of good art we get whatever some schlub produces after he has managed to charm the nitwit who chairs the city art commission.

Michael said...

Amazon is the middleman on the "bargain books" which come from other sources. Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises can be had for 6.95 from one of these sellers of shitty remaindered authors.

Phil 3:14 said...

It's always some big pointy tower thing.

Here's our's during the day

at night

and a wider perspective


Frank Lloyd Wright

Phil 3:14 said...

It's always some big pointy tower thing

Or maybe you were alluding to this

blake said...

Yes, FLS, there are low-priced NEW books as well.

blake said...

Phil,

It was the '70s. That's how everyone looked.

No, really. See "Laserblast". (Or better, the MST3K episode "Laserblast".)

pst314 said...

"I don't mind if they keep building those boring glass boxes, but why do they always deposit that little turd in the plaza when they leave?"
--Tom Wolfe

Michael said...

Tom Wolfe was also a fan of and a supporter of Fredrick Hart, a sculptor, a realist of unbelievable and apparent talent. It was with Hart in mind that Wolfe made the comment about the turd in the plaza. There is a book on Hart for which Wolfe wrote the introduction. Google Hart and then look at some abstract sculpture and decide where the talent is/was.

Michael said...

Tom Wolfe on Fredrick Hart: http://www.jeanstephengalleries.com/hart-wolfe.html

Carol_Herman said...

Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw the link to Tom Wolfe's essay on art. I think it was an old article, to boot.

Artists, unhappy with the Whitney, were going to do "something" at "The Kitchen" (in Manhattan), on some opening night at the Whitney. And, when Tom Wolfe heard about it, he offered to speak for free!

About Picasso, what I remember was a take down of the BLUE PERIOD. (These are paintings I've seen. And, liked. What I didn't like was "cubism.")

Anyway, Wolfe says "what's this with blue paint? Blue represents depression. How novel."

And, yes. Money is involved. It's a small circle of jerks who get to critique the art. And, make some really crappy pieces sell for more.

When Madoff did this it was called a PONZI scheme.

Michael said...

Carol Herman: Wolfe wrote a book on art, The Painted Word that you might be thinking of.

Carol_Herman said...

Books. And, inventory.

There used to be a deduction for book sellers and publishers, IF they kept an inventory. (Which would be offset against profits.)

The IRS changed the rules. And, book sellers dumped their inventories.

Back in the 1960's, you could buy a hardcover for under five dollars. And, a paperback for under a buck.

Now, for what Tom Wolfe tried to point out about the art world; is that unlike your ability to buy a book (literature or not), was your decision. While the art world got taken over by 3 critics. Who set the prices and the tastes of what was supposed to be art. When Jackson Pollack's art brought in big bucks. But it always just looked like a painter's drip canvas to me.

Wolfe hated Warhol's stuff. While I actually liked his Marilyn Monroe, and his Campbell Soup can. But how much was that stuff really worth? Given that the art world produced ... not just talent ... but artists who could do amazing things with a paint brush ... we've slid way down with what passes for art "now."

Heck, someone can go into a gag store. And, buy art that they throw on the ground. And, you step over it. Because you don't want to land a shoe in feces or vomit. And, that's pretty much how "art" went south.

Are there talented people out there? YES! And, one of the worst things that can happen to them is that they go to art school.

Now? It's so many public schools, it is just sad!

murgatroyd666 said...

North of San Diego, the city of Carlsbad had to endure a piece of "public art" called "Spilt Pavilion," which marred a beautiful ocean view with something that looked like an oversized dog run. The artist explained that "the work deals with the psychology and the sociology of the space, which ultimately is the politics of the space" ... Uh huh, sure. Eventually the people who had to look at it prevailed, and the city tore it down. Ultimate cost to the taxpayers: $500,000.

murgatroyd666 said...

Also in San Diego ... there was "Okeanos," which sat in front of Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. The New York Times art critic called it "a rippling curve that seems to spew out of the earth and curl up like a wave. It suggests not only water, but also clouds and vegetation and human limbs" ... But everyone else called it the Dinosaur Turd.

It still exists, but the hospital administration moved it (slide show) to a location where it can't be seen unless you're looking for it. At least the public didn't have to pay for that one.

Revenant said...

North of San Diego, the city of Carlsbad had to endure a piece of "public art" called "Spilt Pavilion,"

Oh, THAT'S what that thing was?

I thought it was some sort of partially-finished structure, and wondered why in the hell anyone would build it there.

Glad to hear its gone.

Michael said...

Carol Herman: There is some justice in that the sculptor Fredrick Hart who was never, not once, reviewed by the art critics, went on to make a hundred million on his art. Andy W's estate was worth over 300.

murgatroyd666 said...

Here's one that was almost constructed: an archway of boats, spanning Harbor Drive at the San Diego Convention Center. The proposal was very narrowly rejected. (The photos are of similar works; I couldn't find one of the proposed archway.)

The artist was gracious in defeat: "Friends said to me, 'You know, Nancy, San Diego is really a provincial city. It's immature, and you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting your work accepted.' They told me it's full of small-minded people. And, Mr. Cushman, you just proved them right. I'm sorry you're so petty."

I wonder what it would have looked like after a couple of decades of exposure to the elements.

Methadras said...

murgatroyd666 said...

North of San Diego, the city of Carlsbad had to endure a piece of "public art" called "Spilt Pavilion," which marred a beautiful ocean view with something that looked like an oversized dog run. The artist explained that "the work deals with the psychology and the sociology of the space, which ultimately is the politics of the space" ... Uh huh, sure. Eventually the people who had to look at it prevailed, and the city tore it down. Ultimate cost to the taxpayers: $500,000.


Why I remember that thing. What a mess that was. I had a friend that lived in Carlsbad and I lived the East County and would come up so we could go surfing near Tamarak and he would go off on what a hunk of shit that thing was.

Methadras said...

murgatroyd666 said...

Also in San Diego ... there was "Okeanos," which sat in front of Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. The New York Times art critic called it "a rippling curve that seems to spew out of the earth and curl up like a wave. It suggests not only water, but also clouds and vegetation and human limbs" ... But everyone else called it the Dinosaur Turd.

It still exists, but the hospital administration moved it (slide show) to a location where it can't be seen unless you're looking for it. At least the public didn't have to pay for that one.


Oh yeah, I remember that thing like it was yesterday. I used to surf in La Jolla (scripps to be exact) and me and my surf buddies always referred to it as Leper Cock. The thing was a huge eyesore.

Methadras said...

murgatroyd666 said...

Here's one that was almost constructed: an archway of boats, spanning Harbor Drive at the San Diego Convention Center. The proposal was very narrowly rejected. (The photos are of similar works; I couldn't find one of the proposed archway.)

The artist was gracious in defeat: "Friends said to me, 'You know, Nancy, San Diego is really a provincial city. It's immature, and you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting your work accepted.' They told me it's full of small-minded people. And, Mr. Cushman, you just proved them right. I'm sorry you're so petty."

I wonder what it would have looked like after a couple of decades of exposure to the elements.


Yeah, thank god that monstrosity never made it. A perfect example of why government patronage of art should never be considered and taken off the table for all time. Have you seen the bullshit that passes for those gigantic art sculptures on the way to Lindbergh field? Ghastly. This is tax payer funded junk and because of scam assemblages like the port authority or the convention center authority the tax payer has zero say so over the matter.

PatCA said...

Wow, those are some awful/funny public art projects!

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Our sister city of Council Bluffs Iowa has these "Edward Scissorhands" type sculptures over the interstate. They have been the subject of much ridicule.

Interstate "art"

However most are more appreciate of the privately funded sculptures of bison & geese in front of the First National Bank building. The geese are placed up and down the streets, with some attached to light posts & seemingly flying through the walls of the buildings.

Bison & geese