We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Encinitas, where I live, is the last refuge of traditional laid back Southern California beach towns. We have the usual run of art shops selling third rate paintings to tourists, any town's laughing-up-our-sleeves joke on the gullible.
But, the beachside bronze paid for by the local Cardiff Botanical Society (WTF does surfing have to do with botany?) has run into disdain for its insufficiently iconic image. Locals don't consider it realistic enough, and aren't to be treated as gullible by purveyers of public art who foist their artistic sense (or not) upon the populace.
The statue, disdainfully titled "Cardiff Kook" by surfers, has been dressed in tutu and bikini, but the latest Encinitans-gone-wild prank is the best yet.
Overnight, a huge papier-mache replica of a great white shark was erected devouring the statue.
The Sheriff Lt. at the scene said, “It wasn’t considered vandalism because there wasn’t any permanent defacing.” The sculptural addition will be removed, to the sorrow of locals and the crowds who consider it an improvement and stop to admire and shoot photos.
Encinitans will strike again.
What public sculpture in your town would benefit from a puckish aesthetic addition?
The mascot of the University of Maine in Orono is the Bear. There is a glorious statue, and while the bear was not originally created with anatomically correct bits, helpful people have been appending them whenever possible. Some of these surgical additions to the Bear's masculinity have been wild indeed.
Any rumors that Stephen King may have been involved in one of these depredations are false; spoken by people who are jealous of the only guy in the world whose neighbors WANT him to put the humongous cast iron spiders back on his fence.
At the other end of the country, in Seattle, the bedecking of "waiting for the interurban" is a required rite of passage. Usually the artists just make weather-related jokes and of course, being Seattle, a leftist swipe at George Bush and team is always appreciated. But at least once the statues sported "Palin Rocks" buttons and Sarah-styled glasses. That didn't last long, thanks to locals who quickly defended their liberal honor; and no, I have no idea who was involved in photoshopping those big glasses or covering over giant Ivars "Keep Clam" buttons!
A couple of suggestions: the "Hammering Man" statue in downtown Seattle; the "exploding cars" exhibit in the Seattle Art Museum (one of the worst "art" exhibits in any museum I've seen), and the so-called "Salish Sea" sculpture (which is actually a 700 pound bronze NUT for G-d's sake) to be erected in Port Townsend WA at public expense. (I'll say it again - it's a statue of a nut - the thing that goes with a "bolt").
"Waiting for the Interurban", by the way, is in Fremont, one of Seattle's neighborhoods.
We like the "Troll" sculpture under the north end of the Aurora Avenue Bridge (shown life size, devouring a Volkswagon, appropriately enough). It, too, is in Fremont (as is the statue of Lenin). This is not your stereotypically "friendly" troll, but the monster of myth and legend.
Let's also recognize the planning and skill the artists put into this project. In order to erect it overnight, rapidly and unobserved, the team (I am sure it was a team) had to at least plan the whole thing. Very possibly the crew fabricated the shark in a garage, cut it into pieces they could easiy reassemble, and then brought this marvelous work to the site and got busy. A safe and irreverent act.