Public art – it takes time

Angel of the North

Gormley's Angel of the North

Art has the capacity to divide people and create a sensation. That element of risk brings excitement and sometimes unnecessary attention and bitter criticism. There is something deeply puritanical about this; as if making art is frivolous and pointless; as if we shouldn’t be dancing round the maypole, we should be knuckling down and grafting. If art is deemed to be misjudged then the first question asked is: What did it cost? But many works of art which were at first criticised have become part of the landscape. Iconic is a grossly overused word, but it seems hard to imagine the M1 without the Angel of the North or New Street in Birmingham without its Floozy in the Jacuzzi. Public art requires guts and a long-term view. Each piece should be judged on its own merits and the public doesn’t need newspapers or critics to think for it. The man in the street has an instinct and is capable of deciding what is right and wrong. Our views change with time. The BBC published an interesting piece on how views have changed about the Angel of the North. Fascist overtones or regional pride? You decide…click here

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About richlakin

I write about things that interest me
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