Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Central Market Art in Storefronts, Take Two



A pair of monumental Karen Cusolito metal sculptures appeared across Market Street street from each other a couple of weeks ago, with "Dandelion" above at the base of U.N. Plaza...



...and "Valiant Flowers" drooping down in the middle of Market between 7th and 8th, looking rather Day of the Triffids/Invasion of the Body Snatchers.



In truth, Cusolito's sculptures tend to make people unreasonably happy, something I've noticed when photographing them in San Francisco. "Dandelion" started off as a 2010 Burning Man sculpture and is being sponsored for its temporary stay through the summer by the Black Rock Arts Foundation...



...in conjunction with the San Francisco Arts Commission, who hosted the second Central Market Art in Storefronts opening on Friday the 13th.



There were ceremonial mural and gallery openings, followed by a sidewalk march that included a gringo gamelan group...



...making their way up the crummiest section of Market Street in front of a group of art people...



...with San Francisco Art Commission President Luis Cancel (middle right above) explaining it all to San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee (middle left above).



The idea is to use "artists" to gentrify a seemingly intractable crime-ridden neighborhood, which isn't necessarily a bad idea, though I'm not sure tiny grants to local, mediocre, connected artists is the path to success.



I am not putting Ms. Cusolito in that category, by the way. Her rusty metal flowers and dandelions are at a perfect scale for that section of Market Street and they blend in with the trees in interesting ways, a happy addition to the neighborhood.

2 comments:

Black Rock Arts Foundation said...

Thanks for the lovely post! Sorry we missed you but your photos are fabulous and as always, love your narrative. Karen is just as lovely as her work so it makes us happy too!

namastenancy said...

I saw those and laughed because they are fun. But I also wondered if they come alive late at night and gobble up a few bodies in the wrong place at the wrong time. Feed me Seymour?
As far as really fixing up that stretch of Market St., I think your friend (H. Brown???) who testified at one of the hearings got it right. There's a poverty empire in place and until it becomes unprofitable, nothing much will change.