Monday, March 02, 2009

Denver Public Art

As Connie will be glad to tell you, this horrific horse perched outside of Denver International Airport drives me nuts. Officially known as "Blue Mustang" it is especially obnoxious after dark when the orange eyes light up. I have offered to contribute to a fund to buy C-4 to blow it up. The NY Times tells me today I'm not the only one who feels this way. The thought that I am going to have to look at this every time I go the airport for the next four years is maddening. As I am not a Denver resident or taxpayer, I won't comment on how much it cost.

Just to show I'm not totally closed-minded, I want to point out that I have no problem at all with this sculpture of a giant blue bear peering into the Denver Convention Center entitled "I See What You Mean." In fact, it doesn't seem to strike sparks like the horse does - I don't think I've heard anyone say they didn't like it. IIRC the artist made a batch of small scale models of this that were hot sellers at the Democratic National Convention here last summer.

I can't exactly put my finger on why I feel so differently about the two pieces. I'd be interested to hear how you feel about them.

As long as we are on the subject of art at DIA, this rather strange mural inside the main terminal has set off a whole series of conjectures of how it is linked to secret Masonic symbolism, the New World Order, or the extraterrestrial aliens that are purported to live in subterranean chambers under the airport. Some apparently refer to DIA as "Area 52." The NY Times article alludes to this, but the best rundown I've seen appeared in the local weekly Westword a while back.

Frankly, "Dream of Peace" is rather peculiar and if you travel through DIA I'd recommend you take a look at it.


Anonymous said...

IMO the Horse From Hell is awkward and poorly executed. The piece isn't tied to its environment in any way, it looks like someone dumped it off there by accident. It's not beautiful, it's not amusing and if there is a statement there, I don't like what it has to say.

The bear is a lot more graceful. He's amusing instead of provocative and the artist tied him to the environment in an amusingly way. He's cute, funny and interesting -- like a good friend.

Sarah Regan Snavely said...

While I don't need my art to be true examples of anatomical perfection, there is something about the horses hips and shoulders that I find immensely distracting.

My first reaction when seeing this sculpture -- why?

Isaac said...

I'll admit, there's a twinge of fear everytime I drive by that horse. Especially at night with those eyes...*shudder*

I work almost across the street from the bear. No fear there. :-)

Apparently there are all sorts of conspiracy theories about good ol' DIA. I heard somewhere that if you look down on it from above the runways are situated in a great big schwastika?? Some people have too much time on their hands!

Lauren said...

Reid - I had no idea. As soon as I saw the photo, I had a pang of recognition. In front of the art museum at the University of Oklahoma, we have a smaller version. It has always seemed very out of place and awkward to me - it doesn't fit with anything else on campus. Here's a (not very encouraging) blurb about our "Mustang" (whose eyes also light up red at night):

But other pieces have also caused uproars, such as a smaller and more muted version of Mustang that was installed at the University of Oklahoma's art museum in 1997. That piece was eventually accepted by the community, partly because it was moved to a less prominent location and partly because people adjusted to it over time.


margory said...

Maybe he's responding to the outsize development and building in and around Denver. Maybe it's from air that used to be clear and clean, when the mountains could be seen on any day of the year.

Moro Rogers said...

I don't know, I think a giant scary horse is better than a lot of stuff the public has to look at. It's cooler than giant crudely painted murals of kids of many colors carrying baskets of fruit under rainbows and crap like that.
Also, you know, parents can tell their kids 'if you're not good, the blue horse in front of the Denver Airport will get you!'

stevea said...

Oh. Art.

I just saw blue horse with orange eyes and figured it was another Denver Broncos mascot. I didn't know it was supposed to be Art.

Anonymous said...

There has to be some lesson in the fact that the statue squashed its sculptor during construction.


Teddy said...

Would you like the blue horse better if it had big brown eyes and was colored like a recognizable breed of horse? This horse does not fit our long ingrained image of any horse, wild or tame. I have not seen it close up, but the word 'feral' comes to mind.

JohnB said...

Horse From Hell is a good name...

I ride and have a couple of horses, and I've always loved how they look, especially in motion. I don't like how this thing looks.

This sculpture looks like a predator, not a grass-eater.

If horses ate carrion, I think they'd look like this...

J.R.Shirley said...

Yeah, I like "I See What you Mean" and hate the horse, as well.

Anonymous said...

BLUE HORSE STATUE Duration: 00:01:00



MAR. 5/09


Hultin = hull-TEEN


Airport art is sort of like Muzak. It's there. It creates an ambience. But, at least as far as airport officials are concerned, it's not meant to excite any extreme emotional response. Heaven knows people have enough reasons to lose their cool while they're waiting for a delayed flight.

Well, when the administration at Denver International Airport decided on a public art installation last year, its members failed to keep the need for calm in mind. And ever since their chosen sculpture was installed, public reaction has verged on hysteria.

When Denver resident Rachel Hultin first saw the sculpture, she felt moved to publish her opinion about the piece on the Internet. In short, she hated it. And she could not have gauged the influx of vitriol her posting would garner.

We reached Rachel Hultin in Denver.


The Rachel Hultin interview was on today and can't heard at the site.


Anonymous said...

The Rachel Hultin interview was on today and can BE heard on the site at the top.


Max Inclined said...

The horse is cheesy, something you might expect to see in front of a Vegas bar. The light-up eyes are just plain creepy... one might imagine a parallel between the horse and airplanes and come up with disconcerting conclusions about how pilots see themselves.

The bear is cute and friendly. But if it had red light-up eyes I think that would change things a lot, especially for anyone walking past him inside.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the logo for the Carnegie Foundation?

Look on Page 3 - and notice the year the organization was founded in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

The link was truncated so you'll have to paste it together.