Thursday, August 30, 2012

Butt-Fugly Public Art of the Week-- August 30th

Wilt Chamberlain by Omni Amrany

Southeast Corner of the Wells Fargo Center

Pic from
                      Ok, I get what they were trying to do here but this just looks ridiculous. A statue is a statue, for fuck's sake. Its supposed to be still. If they wanted it to be in motion so badly, they should have made it like those animatronic historical figures.
                      Omni Armany, the dude that designed this sculpture, has also created similar pieces honoring other sports figures. Some others have the same "being splashed by a bucket of diarrhea" look to them. The one thing I like about this is how there are two figures of the same person. I guess that's kinda cool... the casual crouching Wilt Chamberlain shape-shifts Odo-style into 76ers Wilt kicking some ass.
                     I also don't mind how parts of the sculpture seems like freeze frames of moving body parts-- I just can't get away from the diarrhea of bronze in between. Also, why stop at just two figures? They should have had casual Wilt turn into Conan the Destroyer Wilt and THEN become 76ers Wilt.

"His Numberwang is the size of my leg" -Princess Jehnna
                    This 17-foot Chamberlain-Diarrhea Attack Montage weighs 3,000 lbs and was cast by A.R.T. Enterprises out of Centerville, PA. It cost $300,000, paid for by the Wilt Chamberlain Foundation. The casual Wilt is supposed to depict Wilt in his Overbrook High days. A staff of 30 assembled the Bronze Feces Explosion over a year and a half. It was installed outside the Wells Fargo Center back when it was called the Wachovia Center in 2004.
                  The statue is not the only Wilt-related artwork you can find in the city. A mural depicting Chamberlain stands on the side of 1243 Vine Street. Its right next to a mini-surface parking lot. If and when that lot gets developed, it'll probably be gone. I don't go nuts about losing murals like others do.. they are meant as placeholders and can always be re-painted somewhere else.
                  I think a proper monument to Wilt Chamberlain would be great for Philadelphia. It doesn't necessarily have to be at the Sports Complex-- it could go in Fairmount Park. In 1990, a video simulation of that that would be like was made:


Seems pretty good to me... build it.

1 comment:

  1. The Wells Fargo center must be schizophrenic by now, too. Originally called The Meridian Center, it was renamed before it even opened to be the CoreStatus Center. Of course, the best was when it was appropriately named the First Union Center (the F U Center, or the FUC). After that, it became the Wachovia Center and now the Wells Fargo Center. 5 names in 15 years...