Saturday, November 08, 2014

Public "art" as eyesore


If we didn't already know better, you might think that all this junk "art" debasing public space in the city is an elaborate put-on by conceptual artists: "Let's see how much crap the public will tolerate in the name of Art," like an updated version of The Magic Christian in the Terry Southern novel. Apparently people will tolerate large amounts of this pretentious stuff, not that the public has any say in the matter.

We learn from this morning's Chronicle that the Mark di Suvero junk---an Eyesore of the Week last year---that littered Crissy Field until earlier this year will be relocated to UCSF at Mission Bay---where it will be permanently installed!

The sculpture stands 50 feet and will be even taller on a rise of the grass quad outside the campus community center...The artist will oversee installation outside William J. Rutter Center in December, and it will be dedicated at a public ceremony during the first week of January. “Art and science are both very creative, and I have witnessed how the scientists respond to art,” said Jeanne Robertson, a director of the UCSF Foundation, who has been active along with her husband in development of the Mission Bay campus. Sanford Robertson, who goes by the nickname Sandy, was a founder of Robertson Stephens, the investment banking firm, and now works in private equity.

Surely Sandy and his philistine wife can find better things to do with all that money. Mark di Suvero must be disappointed that his won't be the biggest piece of crap in the neighborhood. Richard Serra's (below) is bigger!

“Dreamcatcher” took seven years to build and weighs 15 tons total. But it will not be the largest outdoor artwork at UCSF Mission Bay. That honor goes to Richard Serra’s “Ballast,” formed of two 70-ton steel plates that rise as tall as the buildings along Third Street and are angled just enough to skew the viewer’s outlook...The Serra piece was a commission from UCSF, as part of the construction budget. One percent of the overall construction cost has gone to public art...That program has now expired, and the di Suvero is the first major gift to the art collection at UCSF. “I’m hoping to inspire others to donate art,” Jeanne Robertson says. “I’m a great believer of art in public places."

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