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To Be, or Replace Thee

Jonathan Borofsky, Male/FemaleSometimes coming home after a nice long trip can have some surprises to it. One is that Men's Fitness magazine has named Baltimore the fittest city! Where did that come from? I can't imagine any city in the U.S. being fittest.

The second -- and perhaps this should come as no surprise -- there is still a debate over whether or not to keep the towering Jonathan Borofsky sculpture Male/Female in the plaza in front of Penn Station.

I'm not so taken by it that I would totally miss it, but it has grown on me. It's got some very interesting engineering, and it was a thrill to watch it get assembled. Mr. Borofsky has it down, after many years of installing his work. What scares me is what would replace it? Undoubtedly it would be a more conservative selection. The Baltimore Sun reports on a local railroad historian suggesting a statue of a former rail baron. No thanks. My thoughts when it was first installed were that since it's the rail station, a point of destination; the artwork should have some significance to that destination. Give those exiting the station a feel for what they've gotten themselves into.

Personally I like a lot of color, and I'm partial to figurative work. My proposal would be a big dancing couple, and I am available for the job.


Anonymous said...

"a big dancing couple..." Reminded me the one (a la Renoir) outside the Corcoran Gallery of Arts during the exhibit "Beyond the Frame: Impressionism Revisited, the Sculptures of J. Seward Johnson, Jr." That was one "piece of art", indeed.

Mark Barry said...

I hope that it was a good experience for you Anon. Are you coming out this year?

Anonymous said...

I have yet to see the work, but am planning to be in Baltimore later this month. I'll try to stop by the plaza at Penn Station and check it out. I think the human forms, united as they are, does give travellers an idea of where they are...I mean everyone that reads Men's Fitness magazine knows Baltimore is the healthiest, most fit, well adjusted place to live in the United States. I can hardly wait to be there and workout in the U.S.'s fittest city!!

Mark Barry said...

We have the strongests forearms-knockin the donuts and beer back. See the sculpture at night, when your crusin up Charles Street. It's also nice entering the city on the expressway Rt 83. Welcome ta Baulmer!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark!
I will only be on town for ther weekend, but I will have to put it on my list of things to do.
1. See Male/Female at Penn Station
2. Do the Baulmer they provide the donuts and beer or should I bring some from home???
3. Go to some high-brow museum event with Mario and some interesting artists I met in NYC.
4. Rush back to home and work on making Jersey City next years most fit city...this year it was named "the best city in the country...for muggings, car jackings and people moving to Balitmore!!"

Mark Barry said...

OOHHhh, that Kevin! You mean the very high brow 10th anniversary bash at the American Visionary Art Museum, with very special guest, the one and only Rev. Desmond Tutu.
Oh yeah, there will be donuts to dip in the beer. I just put a vase I painted into the kiln. It will be part of the silent auction that night. Looking forward to your visit Kevin. You went above 35th Street for us and now all the way to Baltimore, we are honored. We are the fittest city, didn't mention safest (Homicide).