Sunday, September 25, 2011

Public Art: Stanford University Men

The phallic Hoover Tower stands erect over the quad.
Not only does it have a red bulbous top,
but it comes with a condom reservoir tip. 
Classes are starting at the university. Time for a quick tour of some of the manly sights on campus. But first a disclaimer: The sexual orientation or proclivity of anyone pictured here is neither expressed nor implied by the inclusion of images within this blog. This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is recommended for more mature audiences only.

The only true gay art on campus is George Segal’s “Gay Liberation”. It was first installed at Stanford University in 1984. Even though it was commissioned for NYC, it was too controversial and political at the time. Even LA turned it down. It is said to be the first piece of public art to commemorate the GLBT struggle for equality. In 1992, a second copy was finally installed in New York City’s Christopher Park, across the street from the site of Stonewall Inn. Interesting history can be found here.

George Segal's piece in NYC

The Rodin Sculpture Garden located next to the Cantor Art Center. Stanford has the largest collection of bronzes by renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin outside of Paris. There are 20 Rodin bronzes in the French styled sculpture garden. Rodin is one of the pre-eminent sculptors of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. His goal was "to render inner feelings through muscular movement." He paid special attention to the body's surfaces, saying, "The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface, soul, love, passion, life...Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes."

The "Burghers of Calais" in nearby Memorial Court

Across campus is the Papua New Guinea sculpture garden. This wooden area presents 40 works that display of the striking traditional visual arts of Papua New Guinea. Ten male native artists from New Guinea created the stone and wooden sculptures during a five-month visit in 1994. This sculpture garden was the first outdoor art and landscape design on the Stanford campus to come from non-western artists and designers. 

Some of the other interesting masculine, straight-acting, and athletic men on campus:
Menander, a Greek dramatist that invented the realistic romantic comedy,
with its emphasis on heterosexual love.

Boo-Qwilla, an ancestral human that embodies knowledge, wisdom, achievement
and a serious case of morning wood.
Boo-Qwilla's totem pole

Stanford family: father Leland, son Leland Jr.,
and a kneeling, subservient Jane, the wife.

Louis Agassiz (l), naturalist and geologist, and his mentor,
the naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt (r)
Iconic picture of Agassiz after the 1906 earthquake.  
"Agassiz was great in the abstract but not in the concrete."
Hank Luisetti developed a one-handed running shot
and was the first 50-point game scorer in history.

While walking around, don’t forget to look up or you will miss some hunky mosaics on the Memorial Church and the Cantor Art Center.

Fear the Beard! Not the Giants bullpen.

Hunky Jesus and friends

Why are they looking up the young lad's kilt?

Mosaics commissioned by Salviati & Company in Venice. They reflect Jane Stanford's interest in mechanical arts and antiquity.

I will leave you with a quote from author Kurt Vonnegut: “If you really want to upset your parents, and you are not brave enough to be gay, go into the arts!”


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