Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Thousand Words Around Ann Arbor: On Easter Sunday I grabbed my camera and headed into downtown Ann Arbor and the campus area to take some shots. Of what? Well, anything that caught my eye. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. The city was darn near empty; only the little restaurants of Asian lineage were open. (I was deeply saddened to see that Steve's Lunch, my favorite Korean diner, has apparently passed away. No Be Bim Bop for me.)

I took dozens of pics -- actually filled up the SD card in my camera for the first time ever. I may share more later, but one thing I came to realize as I was looking them over is that Ann Arbor has some of the creepiest statues I have ever seen. Really creepy. At first glance they seem OK, but when you really look at them, well….

This fountain is normal enough. Seems a bit clunky and awkward maybe, but not too bad. Then you look at the frightened little kid with the bowl haircut melding with the fishman and you think, uh, must be drugs.

The sea nymph riding the carp seems a little childish, but nothing too strange. But look at the face of the nymph and tell me that doesn't scream of autism.

Most disturbing of all is this oddly proportioned "rampant unicorn". Almost Dali-esque. But look at the rider. She seems to be growing out of, or melting into, the unicorn. And she doesn’t seem to be liking it. In fact she appears to be almost numb, as if being semi-morphed with a rampant Dali-esque beast is her accepted fate for all eternity. Nice subject matter for a garden statue. That is, if you are in HELL and it is the garden of SATAN.

These are the sculptural equivalent of fairly tales like Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel; seemingly innocent stuff until you look deeper. I'd lay odds that there are a minimum of three Ann Arbor based artists that have created works entitled "It Puts The Lotion In The Basket" somewhere in their collection.

Did I mention the Hash Bash is this weekend? Yep, this is where I live.