Tag Archives: Sculpture

Money laundering record set in fine art

Giacometti sculpture sets art auction recordCuriously, you and I can’t transfer $250.– without the requisite agencies being notified, but an oligarch can spend $104.3 Million on Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I and maintain anonymity. (For an iconic sculpture of a figure divested of possessions.) We can’t take shampoo into the airport, but foreign intelligence operatives can cross borders and assassinate it-doesn’t-matter-who without leaving a trace. Exactly whom is INTERPOL tracking or not tracking? For us there’s a no-fly list. For the 007s and 000,000,007s there’s a can-fly-with-impunity first class lounge.

Public art to make you feel Lilliputian

Industrial sized public sculptureCOLORADO SPRINGS- I confess to being reminded regularly of a clip from Michael Moore’s movie Capitalism a Love Story. It’s the mock tourism video ad selling Cleveland: We’re not Detroit. The punch line accompanying this shot is “we think this is art.” Of course I’m reminded because our city too has a collection of these big little things dropped on lawns where you might expect a sculpture. Giant paperclips, marble engagement rings, are feats of logistic craftsmanship certainly, but where in the Parks & Rec shopping catalogs do they warrant a listing in the index under art?

I’m thinking these objects keep us company as we navigate between buildings and structures which dwarf human beings. Maybe they calm our sense of foreboding, or give us the false sense that the city’s oppressive scale is every bit as whimsical as everyday items removed of their functional context, rendered inanimate by being made giant.

But imagine the money to cast that much bronze, to lift that much steel, cement and resin, if it were spent on real works of creative impulse. We wouldn’t do it. For one, it would underwriting artists, not engineers, and two, uplift the spirits of people commuting to work and they’ll all go off truant.