Public Art Missed Lecture Makeup Madison Dye Extra Credit

Madison Dye Missed lectures extra credit, Public Art, March 13

In class on March 13, we discussed Public Art, some of its influences, and some of the most famous examples and artists. We started out by discussing the earliest form of public art, which was the equestrian statue in Roman antiquity. There is a great symbolic significance of the equestrian statue, and many rulers and army generals were portrayed in this format. The statue is typically on a pediment, raising the figure and hos horse above the viewer. The horse also infers that the man is powerful and capable of controlling such a large free spirited animal, so therefore he must be able to effectively lead an army of govern a nation. One of the most famous equestrian statues is of Marcus Aurelias, and the only reason that it survived is because for most of Roman history, it was thought to be Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, so the church and their constituents left it alone. This transitioned into one of my favorite pieces of public art, Inges Idee’s Wild Horses, exhibited in 2008 throughout the streets of Berlin. I particularly like this piece because she took the classic model of a public equestrian statue and made friendly and much more accessible to the public by taking it off the pediment. This allowed for the horses to appear to be roaming free through the streets, and also brought it down to the viewers level which made it much less intimidating and authoritative. Idee also encourages viewers to touch and even sit atop of the horses themselves which helps moves them away from the classical equestrian statue from which they are based off of. This class also covered many equestrian based public works important to Denver, like the two wild horse statues in by Alexander Proctor in Denver’s Civic Center, and Jimenez’s Mustang outside of the Denver International Airport. These statues represent the juxtaposition between the old and new west, the the free spirit of the west with its classic “cowboy and indian” stereotypes.

My other favorite example of public art presented in this class is the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London. I found this extremely interesting because the works themselves are temporary, and the plinth has housed many different, often socially inspired pieces. One that i found particularly moving was Quinn’s statue of Allison Lapper, a women who suffered from a debilitating disease but overcame numerous hardships to live a successful and fulfilled life. I also found the topic of “plop art” to be very interesting. Plop art means the the art itself it not site specific and has to real relevance to the space where it is displayed. Although these pieces were shed in a slightly negative light, I found myself really liking them and the idea that they could go anywhere, and I found myself thinking that the majority of the public art that we have covered could technically be placed anywhere. I like public art and I am glad i had the chance to revisit this subject since i missed this lecture.

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