One of the long-running ongoing projects here at this humble blog involves tracking down local public art, taking a few photos, and writing about it. I deny having any particular expertise on the subject, but it's been a consistently interesting project, at least for myself, and hopefully for a few Gentle Reader(s) out there. I've run a bit low on new material within Portland city limits, so I've started looking at the 'burbs too. Recently I realized the city of Vancouver, WA has a small public art collection of its own, mostly concentrated in the city's small downtown. At some point -- I'm not sure when, exactly -- the city closed a block of E. 9th St. between Broadway & C St., and turned it into a sculpture garden featuring a number of mid-20th Century Portland-area artists. The thing that jumped out at me was that they had something by Manuel Izquierdo, whose work I'm usually a fan of (albeit in a non-expert fashion, as I keep pointing out). You can check out the blog's "izquierdo" tag for quite a few other examples.
So, with all that explanation out of the way, here's a slideshow of Spike Flower, at Vancouver's aforementioned Broadway St. sculpture garden. There isn't much about it on the net other than the city's art page, so we have to rely on the little sign next to the sculpture for info. The sign doesn't give the year Spike Flower was created, but notes it was donated to the city in 2001 by a local nonprofit, and includes a quote from Izquierdo:
The possibility that there is such an accurate mechanism in the creation of an object that expresses and amasses an unknown geometry of feelings, ideas, and aspirations, which are unclear at the very beginning of conception and are discovered through the process of creation, is one of the wonders of human endeavor. These human efforts are driven by a sublime need to reveal the spiritual reality which humans have experienced from the beginning of recorded time.
Our Ancestors left a record of their lives, their myths, and their gods painted and carved on cave walls and cliffs. These paintings and carvings show an immediate and revealing visual language which was created out of the pure need to communicate with other humans.