Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cast Out of Central Park

Balto unimpressed at unveiling of the Balto statue
Interesting post in the City Room Blog of the New York Times today about three bronze sculptures installed in Central Park by the Public Art Fund. One of the statues is of a Barcelona street performer portraying Che Guevara. Obviously this is created a bit of stir as most people have very strong feelings about Che despite their inability to articulate who he was or what he did. "I’m kind of interested in his beliefs and the kind of stuff he did."

What piqued my interest was the other two statues installed by artist Christian Jankowski. Like Che, Caesar and Dali Woman were inspired by Barcelona street performers. Of the three statues on display two are of real men and one is of an imagined woman. Why is that important? Because over the past century, 29 statues have appeared in Central Park and not one--zero, zilch, nada--has been of a real woman.

I have strolled past the cast effigies of authors, politicians, and warriors and all had a bronze bulge in their pants. Christ, there is even a statue commemorating the bravery of a real male dog, but no statues of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Juliette Gordon Low, Mary Cassatt or Amelia Earhart. How fucked is that?

So, who do you think should be the first real woman celebrated in bronze in Central Park?
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