Which is fine with me. Sometimes in the past unpleasant surprises were saved for the summer months when many of the locals were off on their vacations. It doesn't look like that will be the case this year. That said, there is an item that has piqued my interest, and perhaps it will do the same for you. We had discussed the "Art In Public Places" question in the past, and more than once. Now the topic is back.
It never was that big of a deal, but it did raise some questions about the city's financial priorities. As you may also recall, the Kensington folks kicked in a bunch of AIPP money back when they were doing everything possible to get their project approved. No matter how wacky. I'm sure they saw it as the price of doing business in Sierra Madre.
But now there is an agenda item detailing just how some of that money might be spent. And those available funds have grown, like Topsy. Apparently the city's concerned art lovers, along with some of its developers, have been more than generous, and now the time has come to discuss spending some of that dough.
This particular incarnation of outside art (as opposed to outsider art, which is a very different thing), involves Kersting Court Park of all places. Here is how much of that is described by City Hall (link).
That is, if the matter hasn't already been saved for the 2018 city parcel tax increase the City Council will begin finessing (in their usual opaque manner) this coming September.
But what fascinates me today is the actual art involved. No, not that rather commonplace stuff they're talking about planting in Kersting Court, mind you. What I find quite remarkable are the graphic depictions of that happy place found at the bottom of the staff report. They are really something.
The adult figures shown in these pictures are all sitting up straight, and in the most painfully erect postures imaginable. Their collective gaze, true 1,000 mile stares, are firmly fixed upon matters both internal and far away. Beyond the park is a vast encircling landscape that is featureless, empty, spiritually threatening and uniformly gray.
All of which makes Kersting Court appear like an island having no visible exit.
With the possible exception of some well-mannered children, and the obligatory dog, nobody seated there is looking at the person next to them. As I said, some there have Starbucks beverages in their hands and, elbows held high, their only concern is consuming those drinks.
Obviously most of those so depicted have contributed to the well-being of the downtown economy by purchasing and ingesting mass manufactured drink products, and paid some sales tax to do it. Perhaps it is their one true purpose in life?
So is this a new art genre? If so, I would call it Future Kersting. A brave new world populated by people dedicated to both good posture and drinking liquids from cups. All while apparently oblivious to the ominous world that has consumed them.
Here is how this art appears on the City of Sierra Madre website.
Hopefully there will be some sort of a gallery show soon. I would like to meet the artist.