When I was a student, I used to frequent local art galleries and they would also be my primary tourist destination when travelling. And then I just sort of lost of interest in the world of Art with a capital A. I got cynical I guess. I made the conclusion that Art as just another form of fashion - a playground where the cultured and the rich could swap status symbols.
But my icy demeanour to Art is to beginning to thaw as yesterday alone I stumbled upon two stories that have re-awaken my faith.
The first story takes place in London's Trafalgar's Square and it is the story of the sculpture called Alison Lapper Pregnant. I simply adore it. No - I love it. I could gush about it for pages, but I will leave at that.
The second story is local. The city of Windsor has has a sculpture park by the Detroit River and I'm not exactly sure how its governed between the city, the city's art gallery, and its major donor. There must be some common ground in terms in governance, because evidently some of Windsor's city counsellors expressed concerns about the "lack of creativity" and of the "potential controversy" over the following temporary addition to the sculpture park called "Checkpoint Charlie" by Ron Terada
Evidently any piece of art that might make you think (or laugh) is controversial.
I find this so refreshing because currently my city is plagued with one of the worst examples of public art on the planet: Cartunes on Parade [warning: icky flash site with music]. Essentially, Windsor and Detroit took the Animals on Parade idea from Zurich but replaced the template of a whimsical animal with a whimsical car - because that's what the world needs now - more cars!
If the artists and organizations behind "captial A art" are the only forces strong enough to take on what my local government thinks is worth supporting as art, then they have my support. Because I want to live in a city that's brave enough to put Alison Lapper in their city's sqaure.