Last week, eight massive steel beam sculptures went up in Crissy Field. The 50-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide pieces represent decades of work for local artist Mark di Suvero and a very visible piece of SFMOMA's art-in-exile program that will disperse modern art all over San Francisco while the museum takes the next few years to build out their planned expansion. Di Suvero's work has graced Governor's Island in New York and the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden in D.C., but a small contingent of Crissy Field neighbors say the man-made structures "diminish the natural beauty" of a view best known for a very large, man-made structure.
The sculptures, which carry delightful names like "Old Buddy (For Rosko)," will be in place in Crissy Field for the next year until they come down in 2014, which makes the neighborhood group's online petition even more curmudgeonly than most NIMBY maneuvers. Their argument:
Crissy field is a beautiful outdoor setting offering breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. It's one of the few places in the city offering wide open fields where people (and dogs) can run, play and just sit and watch the bay without some man-made structure blocking the view. The eight, large steel structures recently erected at the park block our view, impede our freedom to move, and generally diminish the natural beauty of Crissy Field. Lets tell the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to remove these structures ASAP!
And the letter to the Parks Conservancy, which partnered with SFMOMA and the National Parks Service to bring in the temporary installation, simply reads: "Remove the large steel sculptures in Crissy Field." Quite the condemnation.
To date the anti-public art contingent has managed to rally 40 outspoken lawnchair art critics to its cause (and at least two who don't know how to spell "Crissy Field"). Their complaints against di Suvero's work call it, "so ugly it makes me angry," "pollution of the environmnet," and "giant steel droppings!" But this critique is by far our favorite:
"You have one of the finest examples of engineering aesthetics positioned against the natural restored environment and along comes some egomanaical pseudoartist massaging the egos of high net worth individuals to support the emplacement of a dystopic remnant of what the bridge might be like if assembled by a team of drooling Alzheimer's patients."
We'll definitely enjoy keeping that in mind the next time we toss the frisbee around this delightful waterfront apocalyptic hellscape.