Roxy Paine's 2007 piece Erratic has landed in Beverly Hills' Beverly Gardens Park and there has been some predictable reactions: letters to the editor of The Courier excoriating the purchase (some 300k) and the general appearance of the piece.
I can understand. On the one hand, I love it. There's something so otherworldly about the simulacrum of a stone made out of hammered and welded stainless steel. Plunked down into the verdant strip of grass in Beverly Hills makes it more confrontational than it is in the more urban one of New York City's Madison Square Park. I can also see where some would look at it and be appalled. It's disturbingly organic yet machined. In this town, the home of Michael Bey movies it could be construed as a by-product: a Transformer Turd in our park.
As I said, I like it, and I like the artist. I'd have loved to see some of his other pieces chosen for the city, like Conjoined or Inversion, but perhaps there were reasons these ultra-pointy lawsuits-waiting-to-happen weren't in the running. But it's getting people talking about the city, the art here and perhaps getting people to go out and enjoy a nice walk in our beautiful park. In my mind that's priceless.
Photo: James Cohan Gallery