Skip

He's totally scalping the tickets.
April 10, 2007 9:13 PM   Subscribe

"...it looks like the dad's selling the tickets, the boy's complaining about something, and the mom and girl are extremely disinterested." If you liked Ted Bates, you'll love the Portland Sea Dogs. Quoth King Kaufman: "The hilarious part of the controversy is the statue itself, which is funnier than Spinal Tap's Stonehenge. It's that bad."
posted by staggernation (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Oh wow that is just.......bad. Just really bad. Bad, bad sculpture. Bad.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:30 PM on April 10, 2007


Yeah, that's a lame looking statue but c'mon. As someone who was raised in Maine, saw many a Sea Dog game at Hadlock and is very familiar with Portland I have to wonder about the "white folks on pedestals," comment. Um...is Maine not the whitest state in the nation? As far as the state goes there's a better case to be made for the inclusion of a Penobscot Native American in that portrait than a black person. Let's not turn this into a race issue, let's turn it into a shitty public art issue.
posted by inoculatedcities at 9:31 PM on April 10, 2007


This sculpture outside of the Portland, Oregon's PGE park is much better.
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:35 PM on April 10, 2007


The guy is proportioned like a Gorilla. And the woman is gigantic. Not fat, but built like a Russian Gold Medalist. It looks as though her roid rage is kicking in and she's about to beat the hell out of Magilla with that teddy bear.
posted by stavrogin at 9:52 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


The best part is the inscription: "TO THE PEOPLE OF PORTLAND". The only way it could be better is if the dad was flipping the bird instead of trying to get rid of his tickets.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:02 PM on April 10, 2007


Mom looks like she's going to kick the shit out of junior. Brilliant.
posted by dhammond at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2007


Uh, "FOR THE PEOPLE...."

It's still funny.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2007


hmph. looks like a typical maine family to me. in fact, that woman looks just like my aunt jo, who lives on great pond.
posted by lester at 10:07 PM on April 10, 2007


More Sherbell.
posted by tellurian at 10:12 PM on April 10, 2007


Thanks. I truly LOLd.
posted by frogan at 10:12 PM on April 10, 2007


Wow. That's silly.

I mean I have to wonder what type of planning or civic review went into this. I generally like to think that these sorts of things bounce around city or county council meetings for at least some public review before being installed.

If there wasn't any opportunity for the public to review the installation then that sucks... but of the people of Portland were asleep at the wheel... oh well.

On the upside this ridiculous statue could be just silly enough to endear itself to the community after a period of adjustment (and clever, repetitive vandalism.)
posted by wfrgms at 10:13 PM on April 10, 2007


As far as the state goes there's a better case to be made for the inclusion of a Penobscot Native American in that portrait than a black person.

And considering the baseball theme of the statute, the case for a Penobscott is compelling. Although it was discovered in the 1960s that the first Native American in the major leagues was James Madison Toy, who played in the American Association in 1887 and 1890, the first man known and treated as an American Indian was Louis Sockalexis. Born on October 24, 1871 on the Penobscot Indian reservation outside of Old Town, Maine.

Or just add a black man scalping tickets and cover all the bases.
posted by three blind mice at 10:30 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reader Comment 35: There are already some very good white person baseball statues. Jason Giambi playing defense, for example.

LMFAO. Can we draft this guy?

Let's go Mets!
posted by Opposite George at 10:38 PM on April 10, 2007


"She has both baseballs displayed in martini glasses in her home in Long Island, N.Y. " Way to use a baseball fan when commissioning a piece on baseball.
posted by thecjm at 11:04 PM on April 10, 2007


More Cowbell.
posted by davejay at 11:19 PM on April 10, 2007


Um...is Maine not the whitest state in the nation?

Not even close. There's a huge Sudanese and Somalian population in Portland and the surrounding area. One has only to step inside Portland High School to see the change in demographics firsthand. I'm sure that just about any state in the Great Plains would beat Maine in whiteness per capita by a large margin.

Oh, and that statue is awesomely bad. Guess I have to go to a Sea Dogs game now, just to see it in person. I love how the woman's clothes are utterly tacky and falling out around her midsection. The father's shorts + baseball cap really sell it, though.

The kid's all like, "But dad, I thought we were going to a baseball game!" And he's all, "Shut up or I'll brain you!"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:00 AM on April 11, 2007


Uh, actually, C_D Main is the whitest state in the nation. Or at least it was as of 2000. 97.9% of Maine was white as of the 2000 census, beating out New Hampshire by 0.9%.
posted by Justinian at 12:28 AM on April 11, 2007


beating out New Hampshire

never saw those four words strung together
posted by phaedon at 12:40 AM on April 11, 2007


Or at least it was as of 2000.

The recent (as of the past five to ten years) influx of refugees has changed this dramatically, at least in the Portland area.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:44 AM on April 11, 2007


I just checked out the Cumberland County (Portland) demographic statistics, and Whitey still makes up about 91% (as of two years ago) of the population. So color me surprised, I didn't figure it would top 85%. Must be the crowd I roll with.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:04 AM on April 11, 2007


best. statue. ever.
posted by gallois at 1:34 AM on April 11, 2007


Not by a long shot, gallois. No discussion of horrible sculpture is complete without mentioning the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue (home to statues of other tennis greats like J.E.B. Stuart) in Richmond, VA.
posted by emelenjr at 2:48 AM on April 11, 2007


I love it! It looks like the Griswold family, as envisioned by Bob Burden.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:54 AM on April 11, 2007


This is a very bad statue. Not quite as bad as the Canadian Airman's Memorial in Toronto (generally known as some variation on "Gumby Goes To Heaven"), which adds insult to injury, but bad.
posted by biscotti at 5:00 AM on April 11, 2007


You can tell that statue was made by someone from away. Let's go over bit-by-bit why those people depicted are not Mainers:
  • Mom, Dad and the boy should be smoking. Dad should have a pack of Cumby's generic brand cigarettes in his shirt pocket.
  • Mom is not a BMW (Big Maine Woman). She needs to be 80 pounds heavier.
  • Dad's shorts are hiked up like he's some uptight suburbanite. Real Maine men wear their pants below their crack because they don't give a shit.
  • Also, Dad would never tuck-in his shirt unless he had a court appearance that day.
  • The boy is wearing a baseball top instead of a t-shirt with some band for dirtballs on it. I'm not on top of this, but I think his shirt should read "Insane Clown Posse."
  • Mom needs to have those thin, curled-under bangs and a poodley top of the head. That has been the number one women's hairstyle in Maine for 24 years at the time of this writing.
  • Dad has an American flag on his shirt, when American flag motifs in Maine are for women and then only when the Tasmanian Devil is waving it. Patriotic displays are more for your truck and trailer. People of Dad's age (he is a Mainer with an approx. 8-year-old oldest child, so Dad is about 23) prefer motifs featuring hair metal bands or pot leaves.
They did however get one thing so right. You can tell from the way that Dad is holding the tickets that he is moving them away from his face slowly. Dad is having trouble focusing his eyes because he's very, very drunk.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:09 AM on April 11, 2007 [17 favorites]


Oh my freakin' gawd, Mayah, you're brilliant, ya dub!

Guess I have to go to a Sea Dogs game now, just to see it in person.

Meetup!
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:38 AM on April 11, 2007


i like it ... it catches a moment, but does it in a way that's mysterious ... these are real people, which is more than one can say about most statues

that being said, it's totally inappropriate for the ball park
posted by pyramid termite at 5:39 AM on April 11, 2007


It reminds me of the Joshua Bell kerfluffle from the other day, where it's proved he may be a great musician but he's a crap busker. This isn't a bad sculpture, but a minor league park in a town where lower-middle-class is the dominant culture is a bad place to portray lower-middle-class domestic realism. Put it in a museum, a sculpture park, or the palatial townhouse of somebody of taste and refinement. And in its place have something inoffensive and vaguely stirring.
posted by ardgedee at 5:47 AM on April 11, 2007


I've had good times at Seadawgs games. Once the fog rolled in off the ocean and we couldn't see the outfield from the stands. Another time a guy, who was there alone, had apparently paid for four seats, and kept running people out of "his" seat that was unused and separated by two empties from him. And more recently I saw Gabe Kapler there, and he hung around signing autographs (I didn't try) afterwards. Oh! And the manager got ejected. Good times.

My hometown back in Indiana has started putting in a lot of statues in their "arts district" downtown. Those don't do much for me. I doubt this would either, but at least it's trying to capture people, and isn't a mascot or corporate emblem.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:54 AM on April 11, 2007


There's a very interesting comment in attached to the article:
"Phil Kessel Fan" is right: It's a bad statue. I actually live in Portland, Maine, and can tell you that regardless of what the local fishwrapper has reported, the issues raised by the public art committee were manifold and not ranked in importance: bad sculpture, statue placement, presence of logos, and diversity issues. This isn't public art, it's an advertisement masquerading as art. There is nothing wrong or "liberal" with a public art committee. Portland cares about how it looks, and a public art committee is a valuable and worthwhile entity. The Portland Press Herald slanted its coverage from the outset regarding this story to make it seem as though the committee was worried only about diversity. That coverage elicited a strong response from local readers/ baseball fans (similar in tone to the knee-jerks I've read here) and the city council caved in and ignored the public art committee's vote. Now we're stuck with an ugly statue on a city sidewalk promoting an independent business that has just blackmailed the city to make major renovations to the city-owned ballpark (opened in 1997), threatening that the Red Sox will not renew its affiliation if the city doesn't foot the bill. There's your tribute to the wonderful support the people of Portland have shown the Sea Dogs.
posted by cotterpin at 5:56 AM on April 11, 2007


Hrumph. There's a hearing tonight about budget cuts for the Portland public schools. I wish we could get people as worked up about that as they are about this dumb statue.
posted by anastasiav at 6:07 AM on April 11, 2007


Let's go over bit-by-bit why those people depicted are not Mainers

Well, to be fair, they could be from Cape Elizabeth.
posted by briank at 6:13 AM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


a town where lower-middle-class is the dominant culture is a bad place to portray lower-middle-class domestic realism.

I was being facetious earlier, obviously. But you need to visit Maine before you analyze the problem. The characters in the statue are wicked idealized and appear to live better than a LOT of people in the area (not all or most, but many). Besides being ugly and an ad, that statue is going to turn a group of Mainers into Kevin Spacey's "Se7en" character:

"I envy ya normal friggin' life. Seems like envy is my sin, bro!"

Plus I give it three weeks before some grit rips Dad's arm off with a tow chain and an '86 Monte Carlo SS.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:18 AM on April 11, 2007


>Let's go over bit-by-bit why those people depicted are not Mainers

Well, to be fair, they could be from Cape Elizabeth.


That's true. Or they might have just come from the Western Prom on recumbent bikes. But what are the chances those folks are gonna go elbow-to-elbow with Randy Turcotte from Phippsburg?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:26 AM on April 11, 2007


Mom needs to have those thin, curled-under bangs and a poodley top of the head. That has been the number one women's hairstyle in Maine for 24 years at the time of this writing.

Otherwise known as "The Biddeford Peak."
posted by suki at 7:21 AM on April 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


The Burghers of Calais, Maine.
posted by otio at 7:27 AM on April 11, 2007


> But you need to visit Maine before you analyze the problem.

Been to Maine, yuh betcha, and spent much time in other unfashionable parts of rural and urban blue-collar New England. In the arts, realism is an intent, not a mark of accuracy. Which is part of why this sculpture should be put somewhere detached from what it's trying to portray. (The other part being: The more accurate it becomes, the more it's going to grate on the locals.)
posted by ardgedee at 7:35 AM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


And who asked for this, I wonder.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2007


Gewalt, that's an awful statue. That could apply to any of the statues linked here, but I was talking about StickyCarpet's in particular.
posted by Mister_A at 8:27 AM on April 11, 2007


"While working underneath the clay sculpture, before it was cast in bronze, the 300-pound baby girl fell on Sherbell and broke her rib."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:57 AM on April 11, 2007


The great thing about StickyCarpet's link is that it looks like the rifle fell out of the sky and accidentally bayoneted the poor fellow. I somehow doubt that was the intent.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:59 AM on April 11, 2007


Can any discussion of bad sculpture be complete without mention of this bit of quantum badness?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:07 AM on April 11, 2007


Can't sleep, Einstein will eat me.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:52 AM on April 11, 2007


The great thing about StickyCarpet's link is that it looks like the rifle fell out of the sky and accidentally bayoneted the poor fellow. I somehow doubt that was the intent.

Are you saying you've never flushed a rifle down a 747's toilet?
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:53 AM on April 11, 2007


Also in the not-bad-just-weird sculpture category, we have "Get These Goddamn Babies OFFA Me!" from the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:45 AM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]



Can't sleep, Einstein will eat me.


That's Einstein? I thought it was Charles Bukowski.
posted by spicynuts at 12:40 PM on April 11, 2007


That statue is pretty bad. It's bad because it's poorly executed and the figures look clunky.

For my money, it's not truly terrible public art unless it's conceptually terrible, dependent on the fashion and style of the time it was created for proper interpretation, and butt-ugly as well. And for that, I think the finest example is probably Four Trees.

It's kitschy 60's art, infesting one of the most uptight corners of the financial capital of the world. The artist is presumably making some kind of point about man's relationship to nature, but it really just makes the point that self-indulgent spending on public art usually leads to crap.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:02 PM on April 11, 2007


JenkinsEar - I disagree. That piece, if taken out of its location and viewed in a museum or along side other contemporary pieces can still be defended as an artistic piece of work with merit (I'm saying I think that, but a case could be made for it objectively). The sculpture in the FPP on the other hand will never ever be mistaken for a successful or well executed piece of art in any context in any time by anyone not suffering from brain damage. It's worse than kitsch. It's junk. It's advertising.
posted by spicynuts at 1:38 PM on April 11, 2007


Spicynuts-

Fair enough. I look at a work with earnest intent and crappy execution as being less awful than a work that is well executed, but out of place and tied to it's time so completely. I think that the professionalism and skill of the good artist doing bad work makes this worse than the bad artist doing bad work- but I can understand the idea that the giant mushrooms, in another context, are legitimate works.

Maybe it's fair to say that they are both bad art, and ranking them as better or worse isn't terribly important?
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2007


Maybe it's fair to say that they are both bad art, and ranking them as better or worse isn't terribly important?

You're new here, ain't'cha?
posted by tristeza at 3:01 PM on April 11, 2007


I'm sorry but that thing is awful. It looks like it came from three different pieces. It's trying too hard. The woman looks like it comes from a display on neaderthals or like an adult neanderal lady dressed up in childerns clothes, may be she's what the female Geico cave men look like. The boy looks cartoonish. Yikes, didn't anyone look at it beforehand and does the artist really like it?
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 3:57 PM on April 11, 2007


I am SO going to visit that horrid sculpture when I'm up there next week -- gotta see the awfulness in person to truly "appreciate" it.

As a future Mainer who spends a lot of time with family there (including my full-native cousins, the whole NASCAR-watching, hammer-wielding, beer-drinking lot of 'em), I gotta say the Mayor cracked me up...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:36 AM on April 12, 2007


Gottabefunky: I tried moving up a directory to get some context.
Instead I got more really strange sculptures. (Some NSFW if your work is uptight about nude bronze)
posted by bitmage at 7:57 AM on April 12, 2007


I tried to pick out my favorite, but then I remembered that he is responsible for this in addition to that

The Peter the Great statue is particularly horrendous when you consider that he hated Moscow and shifted the capital to a new city in the middle of nowhere just to get away from it.

Also, The National Police Memorial is on hold in Delhi, but if ever built, will be another timeless piece of crap, which is appropriate, as the Indian police are themselves viewed in the same light...
posted by goodglovin77 at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2007


« Older Just Commercials... Really Old Ones.   |   The Fabulous Stains Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post