The recent announcement of a statue honoring Celtics great Bill Russell inspired a personal wave of public art paranoia and this expansion of an old post about Bad Jazz Art. Jazz has a special kinship with basketball and I wondered whether basketball heros, and the sport in general, have fared as badly in the world of statuary and art as has jazz. The Institute reports as follows:
|Magic Johnson escapes from the clutches of an unidentifiable creature |
to direct traffic.
|Rejected for the $20 Double Eagle goldpiece|
|Getting Ready to Jam|
|Maybe the 76'ers could use him.|
And, public jazz statuary: Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.
|Best of show: Doctah J.|
Public art, on the other hand and almost by definition, is by committee. This is not a process that generally works in favor of art.
Maybe the best that can be hoped for is that the squadron of people tasked with the creation of the Bill Russell statue will lean toward user-friendliness. He was a guy noted for getting his hands dirty on the court and in the community. I hope the the statue that represents him is one that we appreciative citizens not only get to look at, but can touch. Maybe they can site it in a place where we'll be able to walk up, exchange a few words with #6 and hear his great cackling laugh.