Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kill the art. Honestly.

Some of you might not know - but we Californians are broke. Flat ass broke. Sure, there are lots of reasons why. Evil people who didn't pay their mortgages. Or those evil "corporations".

Or maybe, just maybe - it is those evil artists!

Last night I was listening to the water resources control board bitch and moan about something. All I heard was blablabla - I'm raising your rates 9.6%. Which annoys the eff out of me. I'll rant about this some time soon. Then - all of a sudden my mind focuses to the background.

Mr S.! Is that an effing Chihuly in the background - I say. Oh, not one - but two Chihuly's.

Personally, I think someone needs to make his way to the pawn shop.

Why do I bring this up? Last year a small townhouse development popped up in town. It maybe sits on 5 acrers, next to the railroad tracks. Right before they started trying to sell the condos a giant art structure popped up in the property. The art was wildly disproportionate in size to the complex, which maybe took up 1/8th of a city block.

Later I found out that any complex with more than 20 units was forced to add an art structure. I'd be amazed if the complex had 21 units. The complex is seriously almost taller than it is wide. That is how small the complex is. I don't know how much they were forced to spend on the art structure, but, the complex was done with private funds.

Which brings me back to this Chihuly installation. Which I'm guessing was paid for out of taxpayer dollars. I don't see any words that indicate it was donated, or it's just on commission. This from the CalMAX website.

"For those of you planning a visit, you will find the custom-designed artwork of four prominent artists who are dedicated to demonstrating the integration of art and the environment throughout the building. The artwork was the result of a Sacramento City ordinance that required a certain percentage of capital improvement construction costs be allocated for public art. The courtyard entrance contains a sculpture made of stone that stands eighteen feet high and rests atop a three-and-one-half-foot mound with a grove of sequoia trees serving as a backdrop.

Beverly Pepper, an internationally respected artist, designed this imposing stone sculpture with the intention of bringing a sense of sanctity to the environment and creating a "sacred space" in the courtyard. Inside the lobby, textured stone walls, stone floors, and eucalyptus wood grace the entrance. At the base of the staircase leading to the second floor is a stainless steel sculpture. The artist, Richard Hunt, created this abstract metal sculpture specifically for the Cal/EPA building. It is tentatively titled "Man's Way, Nature's Way." The theme, according to Mr. Hunt, indicates that this is "some of the ways that man and nature both originate and modify form."

In addition to the lobby sculpture, two chandeliers designed by artist Dale Chihuly hang from the 30-foot ceiling. An exterior glass curtain that overlooks the courtyard sculpture is also located in this area. The chandeliers are composed of hundreds of pieces of blown glass in organic-like forms in colors of yellow and green."

OH BTW - what a fantastic building the Cal/EPA, waste management, and air resources board, and the water resources board reside in. It's like an effing palace.

Sure this crap didn't pop up yesterday, or even under this administration - but the government wasn't actively trying to make sure I was on welfare either. I mean, if they take a sledgehammer to a wall often enough, the wall eventually falls. If I have to modify my life because they can't figure out how to run a government, they can sell some shit. Art being first.

Maybe 9 years ago, we could afford this crap. We can't now - sell it and stop forcing companies to add art into every single development over 20 units. Including government buildings.


  1. But just think of the cost of the UI benefits for all those unemployed artists!

  2. I am so willing to take that risk. They could probably sit on unemployment the rest of their lives and cost us less. Granted - I love Chihuly , but I don't really want to buy one. Oh wait.. I think I already did.

  3. Next thing you know, you'll be telling us you don't want to support street art like this, either. What would a world without publicly supported art be like, Keyser asks?

  4. Ooooh. Performance art. That would be completely different.

    I'm not a big puppet fan. And really.. any guy can make their pnis into a puppet show. Plus most of them are pretty likely to put on a sidewalk show if you asked.

    I think I'd pay to see balloon animals. That sounds like something you'd need talent for.