Friday, August 22, 2014

Poder de la Mano

Our next item on the ongoing public art tour isPoder de la Mano ("Power of the Hand", I think) by Mauicio Saldaña, in the Kenton neighborhood at N. Denver Avenue & Kilpatrick St. The inevitable RACC description:

Poder de la Mano was created as a tribute to the Kenton neighborhood. A hand holds an open book which is carved with images depicting the history of the area and its people. It includes well known building facades such as the Kenton Firehouse, the Masonic Temple, and the Kenton Hotel, as well as whimsical and imaginative details that showcase the uniqueness of neighborhood. The images were inspired by community and neighborhood meetings and can also be found on nearby benches also carved by the artist.

So the subject matter this time around is "local neighborhood landmarks". Neighborhoods usually just do a mural if they want to celebrate the local old buildings and whatnot (see the one in Buckman for example), but Kenton went for something a bit more permanent. Or the city did on the neighborhood's behalf. When this went in, the city's then-mayor lived somewhere nearby, and gentrifying the area became a high municipal priority during his term in office. Hence the giant stone hands holding a giant book illustrated with a few of Kenton's mildly interesting old buildings.

The curious thing here is that the sculpture looks to be of sturdier construction than the buildings it depicts. It's entirely possible that it will outlast its subject. I'd be willing to bet money it survives at least one of the buildings shown. It's just that none of us are likely to be around when it's time to settle this bet. The main natural predators of stone sculptures are acid rain, vandals, art thieves, and fashionable good taste, and the latter is probably the main threat here. I could see the city, circa 2034, deciding it's just too cheesy to keep (by 2034's exacting standards) and consigning it to a dusty warehouse, or trading it to the aliens as a native handicraft in exchange for some sort of advanced technology. It could happen.

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