Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The risk you take

Photo by John Cross.
As an artist, I can sympathize with Kate Christopher.

I didn't get to meet the Mahtomedi artist during the installation of "Look and You Will Find It," one of the sculptures I photographed on the CityArt Walking Sculpture tour in the last post (by the way, that's the photo in the slideshow I did NOT take with my iPhone, if you were wondering). Her sculpture instantly drew my attention the moment I saw it, both for its simplicity and its message.

“It’s a piece about attitude and how you look at things and how you approach the day,” Christopher said in a story today in The Free Press. “If people start their day looking down, that’s the life they see."

It is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it also drew the attention of a vandal, who managed to break off and steal one of the figures.Another piece on the sculpture walk was vandalized recently too.

I have a hard time imagining why someone would vandalize art like this. It seems like outdoor artwork attracts vandals. You may recall the stone buffalo in Reconciliation Park in Mankato being vandalized a couple of years ago in a spray painting incident. The organizer of the art walk in Sioux Falls had similar stories of occasional vandalism.

Christopher summed it up well in a comment in The Free Press. “You have to rage against people who want to destroy public art," she said.

As it is, artists take a risk displaying their work to the public, regardless of the medium. There's an emotional risk that no one will like it. There's a monetary risk that no one will buy it. Now there's the physical risk that some one will vandalize it.

Christopher said she plans to come to town soon to fix the sculpture, which is insured.


Michelle P. said...

I have really enjoyed the sculpture art walk, and am extremely disappointed in these small mined vandals. I, too, rage against people who what to destroy public art, as the sculptor most eloquently put it.

Anonymous said...

I dont get the reasoning behind destroying art. What possible kick can there be??? I hope they catch whoever is doing it!