O M G !

Thursday, June 05, 2014

O M G !

Anyone taken a look inside the main entrance to Gabreski Airport the past several days and seen this?


Up close, "Walking Figure" is even more so:


Commissioned by the Rechlers who are developing the 50 acre mixed-use Hamptons Business District in the middle of the commerical part of the airport, the 2½ ton cast alumi­num sculpture by artist Donald Baechler was constructed at Bollinger Atelier in Tempe, Arizona, transported here in 36 pieces, and assembled this week under the direction of Tom Bollinger.

The 2004 original, cast in bronze, was mounted on Olive Street, Saint Louis as a Gateway Arch Attraction.

(Another copy resides in Aventura, Florida.)

All that can be said of "Walking Figure" at this point is that it is going to generate a considerable amount of discussion.

In an "exclusive1" interview with Mr. Bollinger at the instal­la­tion site, he assured me, as he had done with the curious the past several days, that "it'll grow on you."

I was compelled to rejoin that the only things guaranteed to "grow on" around here, were barnacles and lichens.

  1. Mea culpa! I couldn't resist!


1. Bill S. said...

I'm sorry, that thing will never 'grow' on me! As an airport, I would have preferred some model of civilian aircraft be there or at the least a flag pole with an American flag! The original "Walking Figure" isn't even that large!

In re: "growing on" any of us. Remember, unless you are a lamprey on an aquatic creature, nothing can grown on you if you keep moving. So don't slow down and gawk at it!

2. Terk said...

After close inspection it dawned on me that it was a sculpture of Popeye's "Olive Oyl" wearing a mylar sweat suit. Just my opinion!

Ha! That's who I told Christine Sheahan when it was yesterday afternoon when she stopped to inquire.

3. Nutbeem said...

Finally, a sculpture so crass and asinine that we have a worthy rival of Linda Scott's fatuous 'Stargazer' opposite the new subdivision on C.R. 111. I had high hopes for the Rechlers. This is very disappointing.

Chacun à son goût, of course, but why would you expect more from the Rechlers?

4. Beth Flanagan said...

A tin foil Olive Oyl... I think it's just ridiculous.

Now, now, Beth... let the milk of human kindness flow in your bosom.

5. Champ19 said...

As much as I personally despise the man, George Guldi, when in charge of the Airport Screening Committee, would have, at the very least, required a formal application where an embarrassment of this sort would have been revealed. Ah, for the good old days! If this is what we have to look forward to from the Rechlers, I shudder to think what comes next.

A three-story motel and conference center, I believe.

6. Ronnie said...

When I saw that I was absolutely stunned. Olive Oyl in Reynolds Wrap has no place at an Airport. What does that have to do with business or Aviation??? As a pilot I find that sculpture to be offensive. I have never seen anything so silly in any Airport I have flown into or visited. I am not trying to insult the artist as I have many Artiste friends, but that thing belongs in Oklahoma.

Ah, jeez, Ronnie! There goes OtBB's "Sooner" readership!

7. Jeanne Speir said...

I'll take dear Elyse's ice cream cone anyday.

Now you know, m'dear, that dear Elyse is going to think that you took her ice cream cone....

8. Jim Cordo said...

I just noticed a piece of crumbled aluminium foil from a take-out meal in my recycle pail and son-of-a-gun if it doesnt look just like that. I have hidden talent I guess.

Nah, Jimbo, nothin' 'bout your talent was ever hidden.

9. Peggy said...

I'm pretty sure when the sun hits it just right you'll be able to see it from space... so it has that going for it.

Interesting... it just occurred to me that that large a reflective object might be a concern to the FAA at an airport.

10. Wicked Stepdaughter said...

According to Wikipedia, Holland Cotter of The New York Times described a 1993 exhibition at Sperone-Westwater Gallery:

"Mr. Baechler jams together pages from children's copy books, maps of Africa and Europe, sketches of toys (beach balls, building blocks) and the reiterated form—emphatic and phallic—of an upheld thumb. In one drawing several thumbs fill the inside of an outlined head, perhaps giving a clue to the darker undercurrents in Mr. Baechler's work as a whole. Art, like play, he seems to suggest, is just a method for keeping chaos at bay, and these days even the best-behaved child knows he's under somebody's thumb."
Apparently it also "explores the language of cultural symbols."
And in 2001, Cynthia Freeland asked "But Is It Art?"

11. Sarah said...

Hey, as I told Peggy, if you make a wrong turn the discussion will go like this: "Oh if you see the giant walking lady you made the correct turn to the hotel." Or "If you see the large foil person you need to make a right at the next light."

Oh well, it's fun for discussion anyway.smiley

It is that, isn't it?

12. Elyse said...

Wow, now there is another topic other than my Ice Cream Cone... this certainly has people talking and is too big to steal.

I love it!

Quite predictably... but dear Elyse, nobody but you, and those who would make it a political fooseball, are talking about your ice cream cone.

13. Scarlett said...

I see the local newspaper, more than 24 hours later, is following you on this. Can Dan's Papers or CBS be far behind?

Yeah, well, I have better sources than most so leading the pack is nothing new here.

But I absolutely expect Dan Rattiner or his son to be all over this, and News12 and various New York City television stations within the next couple of days. Hey!, it's June, it's "The Hamptons," they'll have to cover it!

It'll be a race between The Daily News and NY Post, both of which know exactly who their readership is, to see who can make the most savage fun out of it... look for the word "tony" to be liberally used throughout.

14. Jim Cordo said...

When we moved into my restaurant there was a clown on the roof. Within a couple of hours of signing the lease, people were asking me to take it down, which we did. Traded off the clown for a sign that was about two square inches too big. lol

15. Mrs Genetics said...

Don't think I've seen one of your posts elicit so much commentary. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that's the neat thing about art.

The 2010 Village Election blew OtBB up, but you're right on both counts.

16. The Quiogue Kid said...

WWFKT? What Would Fred Klotz Think???

Fred was great. He would be very understanding of this sort of reaction.

17. Kathleen Collins said...

A seemingly naïve sculpture filled with joy and movement perfect for an airport. Work plays on concept of scale. It's essentially about travel be it little steps of children or exotic journeys on a jet plane. Much more than meets the eye.

Madame has pretensions to being a serious art critic?

18. Kathleen Collins said...

I got to be sorrying for saying my peon opinion round youse people. I like the big kid... it's big and shiny... planes are big and shiny too!

Jeez, Louise... don't apologize! We're all peons here.

19. Hampton West said...

Hope its grounded. One good lightning strike and there goes the neighborhood.

At first blush, cast aluminum shouldn't be that attractive to lightning, but then a little research revealed that the cap of the Washington Monument was specifically constructed (completed in 1884) of aluminum to act in that capacity. Your concerns are well-founded.

20. WHBYankee said...

The Huffington Post found it interesting as well.

Screw HuffPo... it thinks adding a bit of snark makes something interesting and relevant.It's no better than Newsday or the NYC tabloids! Can Jennifer McLogan and WCBS2 be fare behind?

21. Hampton West said...

It occurred to me as I drove down Stewart Avenue toward Old Riverhead Road and saw the statue that, at the times near to the Equinoxes, the rising sun may actually rise, dare I say, between the legs of the statue. Imagine, HamptonHenge!

Or, more appropriately, GabreskiHenge!

I shall keep a watchful eye for a photo op that may shift the entire debate over "Walking Figure."

22. Seeker said...

I think she swallowed a humungous Rice Chex - but I could be wrong, it might be a Corn Chex.

This thing is just plain embarrassing.

I suspect that the Rechlers feel that it's serving it's intended purpose.

23. Seeker said...

You're probably right, Dean. "Any press is good press...."

Taste in art (or lack thereof) aside, why didn't the Rechlers pick a Long Island artist for this project?

Good question.

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