Friday, August 16, 2013
In my August 10th post I mentioned the gift bag I received at the launch of the current issue of Misfit Lit magazine. Among the gifts was a book called 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die (2007), which I have poked at this past week while digesting my dinners on the front porch.
A painting that struck my eye was Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Effects of Good Government in the City (1338-1339), part of a series of commissioned frescos by a civic group (The Council of Nine), as opposed to a religious group (The Roman Catholic Church).
Public art commissions today are largely decorative, though that is changing, particularly in Vancouver, where even the most decorative public artworks incite protest from those who expect more from them, not less.
A recent example of public art, one which I admire, is Giselle Amantea's statue of Poppy, Owen Sopotiuk's remarkable standard poodle (see below).
Why Amantea based her Main Street statue on Poppy tells me she knows the dog as many of us in the arts community know her, and sees in this dog what those who commissioned past statues saw in Lord Stanley, Terry Fox and that fallen soldier outside the SeaBus terminal.
So hats off to Gisele Amantea -- and her wonderful tribute to Poppy!