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civic art

January 28, 2011

water drop

A while back I was unwrapping some things I’d packed away decades ago. They were wrapped in old newspapers, and one piece had an article about some public sculpture in San Jose that had disappeared after a clean-up crew got done with a construction site. It turned out they’d thought it was wreckage and hauled it away.

I really wish I’d saved that article.

I’m guessing the era of edgy modern art at the city’s expense is pretty much over. In fact, modern times are pretty much over. What we’re living in now, I’m not quite sure.

It’s kind of too bad, in a way. I really miss those stabby things in Concord. First they moved them discreetly out of sight, down a side street. Then, after several years, they were gone completely. I liked them though. They had a very hostile message that seemed to be directed right at you, personally. And there were so many of them.

This is our latest. It’s over by the water park and the new community center, whatever that is. I suppose, given the way things are in California, it’s appropriate that we’re building shrines to water. I really love this, though; partly just because it’s so blue. It looks wonderful at night. It’s a little spark of joy just to see it, driving by.

We’ve got a few other things, which I may show you sooner or later. The marina sculpture. The cannery lady in combat boots. The father and daughter watering the endangered species. Some of them are a little abstract, but none of them are edgy, unless you count the giant mutant Antioch evening primrose in the latter. In fact, they’re all rather engaging, in an inclusive sort of way, and maybe that’s what counts, when it comes to civic art.

Photo by Naomi Griffin

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