Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Gate

Here's another object from outside the art museum: Garden Gate by longtime Portland sculptor Mel Katz. His work has appeared here a couple of times before, namely Daddy Long Legs on the transit mall, and Red, Yellow, Blue at the 200 Market building. The museum doesn't have an online collection page for Garden Gate for some reason. It might be because it's a relatively recent acquisition; it was at Portland's Laura Russo Gallery as recently as 2002. This newness means I also can't find much of anything to share about it; many search results are actually for an entirely different Katz Garden Gate located in Bend. (I was just complaining about reused titles the other day and already here's another example How annoying.)

Based on a sample size of 3 I've seen, and a few others I've seen photos of, I think I generally like his work. This clean, colorful style was apparently uncommon in Portland's mid-20th-Century art world, which generally preferred lumpy bronzes and rusty cor-ten steel whatzits. (Alhough as far as I've been able to tell, said art world consisted of at most a dozen people at any given time, so having a niche to oneself isn't really that surprising.) The Portland Public Art blog liked Garden Gate too, and that blog's anonymous author was hard to please. I suppose the takeaway here is that while I may have uninformed opinions about art, they aren't always unusual opinions. Take that however you will.

If I ever wanted to sound more informed and insider-ish, I suppose I could start adapting text from the Arty Bollocks artist's statement generator. I'm also tempted to adapt the Git manpage generator for documentation in my day job. In both cases I'm not sure anyone would notice. I'm occasionally tempted to throw together a Markov chain generator that consumes the last 8+ years of this humble blog, and see what it spits out. I'm kind of afraid to see the results of that, to be honest. An auto-generated blog post would probably start with "Here are some photos of..." and ramble on for 2-to-5 unmemorable paragraphs before ending rather abruptly. And now that I've mentioned Markov chains, I'm kind of afraid of the generator becoming self-aware, or at least of it simulating self-awareness as well as I do. Heck, as far as you know this may have happened already.

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