Sculpture people put in their yards come in all sorts of designs from the familiar to the abstract. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I’m always amused when I walk the streets of San Francisco and spy a sculpture that is oddly conceived and poorly placed. I’ve also noticed that, like tattoos, people who own and display yard sculpture are often unsatisfied with just one, or two or even three. However many pieces their yard can accommodate, that’s how many sculptures you’ll find in it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of sculpture gardens and I enjoy seeing them prominently or subtly displayed in people’s yard. They can add a whimsical feel to their surroundings by allowing viewers a passing hint of a story or adding a bit of depth to a garden experience. Sculptures can create ideal relationships between nature and art; a maiden’s hand delicately reaching out to touch the soft petals of a blooming flower. When conceived and executed well, a yard sculpture can provide a renewed sense of happiness every time you see it.
And then there are the ones that make you cringe and grind your teeth. Like the knock-off of David above. The problem there isn’t so much the placement of the sculpture but the objects surrounding it. As you can see in the smaller picture, the sculpture could work well where it is by providing a nice contrast to a pretty shrub. Unfortunately, a couple of ugly garbage bins and an empty stroller make it appear as though it were left there by the owners to be carted away on trash day.
The lion below is a little strange because of its solitude and pose. Unlike the lions that guard the entrance to a house, this one reminds me of the fable about the lion with a thorn in its paw, suffering in silence amid a sea of concrete. Wouldn’t a pretty tree have been a better choice? Especially since there’s a hose available for watering.
This weird face is a public sculpture that I discovered downtown one evening. The size of the face is actually about 8′ and lit from below, it gives it an eerie sensibility.
This is its strange partner below.
I hope you are enjoying my posts as much as I am enjoying writing them. Please let me know what you think and any suggestions you have. Until tomorrow I remain your loyal,