Public art (the "f" is silent, by the way) fascinates me. Somewhere out there tonight, a city council or public arts committee is voting to approve a piece of public statuary. Once the vote goes through, the artist will diligently begin the production process. The finished work will be paid for with public funds.
Some of the finished pieces will be admired by most of the community. Some will even become known works of art, attracting visitors from far and wide. Some will look like these.
This is the Golden Driller (photo stolen from these guys). I'm not even gonna comment on the name. In case you missed his belt, he's from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have no explanation for the tiny penguin in work clothes between the Driller's feet, but I think I might have preferred a 40-foot penguin, frankly.
"Typewriter Eraser, Scale X" (photo stolen from this guy). To be completely honest, I have no idea who paid for this, or why. This little lovely can be found in the art park adjacent to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Apparently it is by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, who were Very Important Artists who haunted the "happenings" of the 1960s. This is what was happening, apparently.
This one rather frightens me. It's somewhere in Ohio, and it must have great meaning for the people of the church cowering in its long, scary shadow. This guy took the picture and he named it "Jesuszilla," which tickled a local or two. They left comments on the photographer's site indicating that the statue is locally known as "Cheesus," which tickled ME. I have no explanation for Jesus standing under a sprinkler, waist-deep in water. It kinda looks as if he's playing catch with the typewriter eraser above, however . . . how far apart are Washington D.C. and Somewhere In Ohio?
There is nothing I can (or should) say about this, except that it was once located outside the McDonald's in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada. O, Canada.
It is no longer there. I realize that it was not publicly-funded statuary, but privately-funded market-driven patio seating; still, I felt it fit in well with this group. Okay, I'll ask it -- where would YOU sit? (Photo stolen from these guys)
Which brings me to what started all of this in the first place. This is not news, mind you -- the sculpture I am about to show you was installed in the year 2000 -- but I never got my two cents in at the time (not then having a blog, and being fairly engrossed with plucking my eyebrows).
These are the Chico Hands (photo stolen from The official City of Chico Website). The sculpture is a granite and marble chip terrazzo, and the artist was Donna Billick (in case you want one of your own). From the text:
"Funding Source: Municipal Center Building construction budget Selection Process: Northern California request for qualifications. Selection panel consisting of arts professionals, community members and project manager." [This says "it's not only MY fault!" to me.]
There was no expenditure listed in the text; I checked. I know it's a matter of public record, but I'm sure they were just being modest, really, by omitting something like that. Well, how much would YOU pay for these hands? Don't answer -- WAIT! There's LESS!
Here's where you come in. There's no prize, other than my undying affection and simpering gratitude, but I'm hoping both of you will submit new names for these sculptures. Post them as comments. Think fun! Think children may be reading this (though probably not very BRIGHT children, obviously)! Think outside of the box, then get a big board and smash the snot outta that over-hyped box!
One, two, three, GO!