March 20, 2002
11:58 PM   Subscribe

This a bronze sculpted bust of President Ronald Reagan that Arnold Schwarzenegger commisioned.Did he get his money's worth?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet (36 comments total)
Uh, is it scary ugly or am I missing something?Maybe I just don't know enough about bronze sculpture.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2002

Sure. I'd pay money for an image of Ronald Reagan coated with all the boogers I'd ever wanted to flick at his face.
posted by argybarg at 12:01 AM on March 21, 2002

It could use some Arnie CGI.
posted by chaz at 12:02 AM on March 21, 2002

it's pretty ugly.
but with regard to getting his money's worth, presumably Arnie had a look at some of the sculptor's other work.
if he did, then he should have had a fair idea what he was getting into.
posted by juv3nal at 12:05 AM on March 21, 2002

It needs sanding down.
posted by vbfg at 12:06 AM on March 21, 2002

That would depend on how much it cost, wouldn't it?
posted by Nothing at 12:07 AM on March 21, 2002

I suppose the head would be hollow?
posted by Spoon at 12:08 AM on March 21, 2002

Poor Ronny! First the guy gets alzheimers, and now he has leprosy. Can't catch a break.
posted by Doug at 12:23 AM on March 21, 2002

Ronnie needs to start standing away from the microwave.
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:30 AM on March 21, 2002

I kind of like it. You can actually see the personality that the sculpture is trying to display -- the eyes, the mouth -- that seems to be Berks' forte (if you look at his other pieces). The 'blotchy' look wouldn't be out of place in a painting (like the recent portrait of Elizabeth II) and is pretty cool (IMO of course).

That said, Reagan was a jerkoff during his time in office, and Shriver (being a Kennedy) must be super-pissed at her husband shelling out for a bust of Reagan that casts him in such a favourable light. Bummer about the marriage to Nancy and the Alzheimers, though.
posted by John Shaft at 12:43 AM on March 21, 2002

Okay, let the pointless Reagan-bashing begin again. :-)
posted by John Shaft at 12:45 AM on March 21, 2002

To be bipartisan, the same sculptor is responsible for this work at the Kennedy Center here in DC. I always assumed it was designed so that pigeon droppings would achieve a marvelous synthesis with the sculpture, thus making it --in every sense of the word-- an organic work of art. Then they confounded the purity of his intent by lodging it inside in the foyer.
posted by umberto at 12:56 AM on March 21, 2002

Bashing Ronnie Ray Gun is never pointless.
posted by vbfg at 1:57 AM on March 21, 2002

Did I miss something? Was Reagan caught in a fire?
posted by eyeballkid at 2:33 AM on March 21, 2002

he he - its in there somewhere
posted by monkeyJuice at 2:51 AM on March 21, 2002

It looks like a golem to me
posted by Tarrama at 3:00 AM on March 21, 2002

I like it.
posted by iconomy at 3:23 AM on March 21, 2002

he should have kept his eyes shut when the ark of the covenant was opened. poor bastard.
posted by crustbuster at 3:25 AM on March 21, 2002

Berks' sculpture of Einstein is probably one of the "best kept secrets" among monuments here in DC.
posted by pjdoland at 5:41 AM on March 21, 2002

That's made out of bronze? Are you sure? Looks like sculpted chopped liver to me.
posted by emptybowl at 5:54 AM on March 21, 2002

I like it.
posted by rushmc at 6:04 AM on March 21, 2002

They forgot the horns.
posted by chino at 6:22 AM on March 21, 2002

Yep, I like Berk's works. The Einstein memorial is very nice - not just the sculpture of Al, but the whole composition.
posted by tomplus2 at 6:30 AM on March 21, 2002

I'm melting...MELTING!!!
But anyways...given the artist's style, linked by Juv3nal, yeah...he got what he paid for. And no, I don't like it.
posted by Su at 6:36 AM on March 21, 2002

This is Berks's well-known and nearly unique style -- essentially he's taken an art-school clay expressionism technique and brought it to bronze casting. Berks also chose to depict him laughing, which works a lot better with this style than traditional realism. It's a depiction perfectly suited to his Presidential Library; it's the way his loyalists would like to remember him. (See also this Reagan painting from the National Portrait Gallery.)

For years, JFK's official White House portrait -- commissioned and posed for prior to his assassination -- took an unusual tack and showed him in a brooding, thoughtful moment. In the wake of his assassination, it seemed a premonition, and it remains the most emotionally evocative of all the official portraits. (I have this sense that maybe 10 years ago the family persuaded the White House to adopt another portrait, a more standard depiction -- but the power and historical resonance of the original means that he's the only president to have two White House portraits. I couldn't find a source for this, though.)
posted by dhartung at 6:39 AM on March 21, 2002

Chino: Horns? You mean like the ones you'd find on a minted coin of Alexander the Great, showing power? No thanks -- too classy for Reagan.

But Ithe Reagan bust is enviably good. I wish I had that touch. I'm more of a Rodin type myself, but this is almost equally sublime and far more obviously subtle. Blur your eyes and you'd see how right on the artist is for each decision of added weight.
posted by Hilarion at 7:03 AM on March 21, 2002

That bust may pay more attention during Cabinet meetings than the original.
posted by adampsyche at 7:10 AM on March 21, 2002

At least the sculptor was trying to do something interesting. Reagan's successor wasn't so lucky:

This seven-foot monstrosity stands in a hallway at the Houston airport, and I have to look at it every time I change planes on the way from Seattle to Austin. I'm still trying to figure out how the guy managed to keep his hair perfectly set in wind forceful enough to hold his jacket horizontal.

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:11 AM on March 21, 2002

"....Its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed."

Actually, yeah, I like the merriment on his face; it was a side of Ronnie I miss most.
posted by alumshubby at 7:43 AM on March 21, 2002

Wow! Heading for this thread should be "MeFi posters are art ignorant and proud of it"
posted by HTuttle at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2002

Which ones, HT, the ones who like it, or the ones that don't?

Our apologies. We should have known to wait around for an art professional to tell us what we like. Otherwise they'd be out of work, eh?
posted by umberto at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2002

It can be easy to lose perspective. Note to self : not everyone went to elementary school field trips at the Kennedy Center.

The JFK statue is even more scary looking in person. Especially if you're 8.
posted by jragon at 12:00 PM on March 21, 2002

*echo's umberto's thoughts*
posted by Nauip at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2002

It's Clobberin' Time!!
posted by Shadowkeeper at 2:42 PM on March 21, 2002

"Who's that Bonnie"

"Where am I"

Hey hey hey: Q: Why do all people with alzheimers have enormous genitals?

A: What?
posted by Settle at 5:10 PM on March 21, 2002

I don't know. This sculpture seems to cop Giacometti's style without infusing the magic that made his work so spectacular (mostly the fac that the finger gouges and such in the piece are considerably larger than features such as eyes and mouths, and yet those features still come through perfectly well). I mean, I like the texture, and the pose is cute, but as a whole it just doesn't do it for me.
posted by Ptrin at 12:57 PM on March 23, 2002

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