Even more important has been the flowering of arts advocacy groups — Phoenix Artlink, Voices Downtown Coalition, and Arizona Action for the Arts, in particular — and the maturation of the Phoenix arts community, which has learned how to organize, petition, lobby, and push the political process to its advantage and for whom there are more public art commission opportunities. Most important, a political process exists through which the mayor, City Council, city manager, and citizenry have active roles in choosing what they want to see in their city.

One thing hasn't changed. E.J. Montini is still stirring the pot (or, in this case, mucking with the net), though I consider his opinion on public art projects about as informed and insightful as supermodel Naomi Campbell's recent interview of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In a recent column, attempting to kill the Echelman piece, he told his readers that "a large, difficult-to-understand sculpture is exactly what a piece of public art should be. But not in Phoenix. Not in Arizona."

Artist's rendering of the as yet untitled Janet Echelman sculpture.
courtesy of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Artist's rendering of the as yet untitled Janet Echelman sculpture.
The Echelman sculpture up-close.
courtesy of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
The Echelman sculpture up-close.

Well, guess what, bubba? It's going to happen in Phoenix, Arizona. And you can stick that in your pot.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
2 comments
Special Ed
Special Ed

I'm so glad Vanesian is now happy with our backward little burg. Funny how I moved here at the same time and didn't have any of her reactions to my new home. I guess I'm just too stupid to have realized how bad it was here.

Disgusted
Disgusted

Echelman's psychedelic floating blue cowpie fails a few basic tests of public art. The sculpture neither originates from the its location, nor does it reflect its location in any meaningful way. It is invasive and confrontational as only a floating blue bag can be. Claims that it evokes a "cactus flower" are risible as it neither resembles a cactus flower in shape or color.

Phoenix has many highly skilled local artists, some of whom are no strangers to public commissions and public art, most of whom could very easily have submitted plans that were far more appropriate in both appearance and representation. Why one of these was not employed is one of the enduring mysteries of "Phoenix public art" subsidy, which persists in hiring out-of-region (out-of-state not being far enough away) artists who impose their work on a population that finds said work an affront on several levels.

Karen Vanesian's unwarranted attacks on Phoenix locals are offensive. When a carpetbagging CALIFORNIAN can lecture Arizonans about their Philistinism with impunity in what is supposedly a Phoenix paper, it's time to stop supporting that paper. She can go back to where she came from. She has worn out her welcome. She can take the pots with her.

Finally, I think there's valid concern about the mechanisms, procedures and costs of upkeep and cleaning of this piece of work. Echelman's sculpture looks like it will function as a large guano trap, in which case it really will be a floating piece of shit, hanging in the air, waiting for gravity to do its work.

 
Loading...