January 10, 2004

I Become a Know-Nothing

The public art folks are thinking of adorning Louisiana Blvd. near Winrock with a sculpture that resembles upturned bowls.
This leaves me cold, but I don't want to complain.
You see I have always considered the opponents of public art to be know-nothings.
Remember the outcry sparked by the Chevy-on-a-Stick? (Wasnít that when Larry Ahrens threw off his genial, optimistic DJ personality to reveal his profound insight into society and politics?)
Anyway, Ahrens' furious opposition persuaded me that the Chevy-on-a-Stick was worthwhile.
I have since decided the idea was fine, but the color scheme dull, depressing.
Back to Winrock. I guess public art is supposed to stimulate us, make us think or feel, sometimes by connecting with geography or history.
Like the neat signposts the City has erected to mark historic Rt. 66 at the West Side of the Rio Grande Bridge on Central.
If so, the Winrock bowls fail the test. I read somewhere they connect to the volcanoes, but thatís a stretch, isnít it?
If I were designing something for that site, what would I do?
Well, the Coronado and Winrock shopping centers suggest...er, a towering dollar sign. Visualize a $ stretching toward the sky. Provocative, no? Guess not.
Since that area is almost clogged with traffic, what about a colorful pollution gauge of some sort? Too literal?
OK. Iíve got it. Letís move the Chevy-on-a-Stick!
But minus those drab blues and greens, OK? I vote for red tiles on the car and how about black beneath. Red and black! Hola! A classic Spanish combination. (Itís also reminiscent of chess and checkers, which has absolutely nothing to do with Louisiana Blvd.)
Oh well. I give up. Iím no artist.
But I know what I donít like. And this time around, that makes me a know-nothing.

Posted by Arthur Alpert at January 10, 2004 11:51 AM