Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Butt-fugly Public Art of the Week-- January 3rd

Dedicated to the American Secretary by Constantino Nivola

400 Market Street

                      Now this is stupid. A big block of steel-reinforced sand and concrete with weird ass shapes on it. Its placement behind a metal railing just makes it looks like its in jail or is in a playpen. This is one of those situations where you see a piece of art, it looks stupid as fuck, and then you find out its ridiculous name: Dedication to the American Secretary. What the fuck kind of dedication is that? This thing looks like a dedication to pinball flippers... the "head" of the "figure" looks like one.
                     It all began when that shitbird 400 Market building was being built. Having to shoehorn some Percent-for-Art action into the design, they got noted Italian sculptor Constantino Nivola on the job. He was the father of sandcasting, making reliefs out of blocks of sand and concrete. People the world over loved the shit so he basically spent most of his life making shit out of sand. The ugly ass sculpture in the picture above was installed in 1970.
                      You want to know the worst part? THE WORST? This piece of shit sculpture has an Extended Edition! In the lobby of 400 Market Street, there's a 42-foot-long steel-reinforced sand and concrete wall relief also dedicated to the American secretary!!! That's crap. I tried to take a picture of it but the security guard was an asshole and went apeshit over me taking pictures in there. That security guard must be pretty tough because the Smithsonian American Art Museum's online inventory of public art doesn't even have a picture of it. Well, fuck yall, I have a crappy black and white photo of the whole thing from 1974:

Eat shit.
                   Once in place, people loved these fucking disasters. Nivola got praise up the ass until he could stop saying "multo bene". Le Corbusier fucked the sculpture from across the street. After that, these pieces of dung have stood there, unnoticed, for 41 years, until this article was written. Security Bull should be thanking me for drawing attention to this sorry-ass motherfucker.
                    Dedicated to the American Secretary? Is there one secretary in the whole goddamn world who would appreciate this? They could have put up a sculpture of a typewriter eating its own ass out and it would have been more appropriate. This sandheap is an insult. There was no reason to go with this Constantino guy. One of his other wall reliefs already existed at a building at UPenn for 9 years at the time this piece of shit was installed. What a crock-a-shit.


  1. As someone who is basically a secretary (ahem, assistant), I'd like to think that this is really a secretary secretly giving her boss the finger and it was designed by Constantino's secretary.

  2. Yet another awful one-percent-for-shit CF. I propose a 2-percent-for-demolition tax for every city-issued demo permit henceforth to take down these public eyesores scarring our wonderful Green Country Towne.

  3. ehh I like the relief, It's like brancusi by picasso mixed with someone else I can't remember.