In Berkeley, we pride ourselves in the unconventional, in the non-conformist. If there is sculpture in our front yard, it certainly is not statuary that you could find at a nursery in El Sobrante or at Home Depot. The conventional elsewhere serves as unconventional here, the world upside down.
I have not documented every piece of conventional statuary, but here is a good body of work showing the unquirky as quirky.
Please understand that I am not judging this statuary. I include it because it adds to the quilt that is Quirky Berkeley. I don’t imagine that much of this statuary is presented with any degree of irony. The people who have it love it. The orthodox elsewhere is heterodox here. That’s all.
When I took these photos to my friend, he had two collections of photos t spread out on his Christian Hvidt Danish Modern desk. The first was a collection of photos of Simon Rodia, the self-taught artist/architect who built the Watts Tower. Very Outsider.
The second was a collection of photos of Leaking Boot statues that Gabby had sent him. Much more in keeping with the photos I present here.
They were pushed to the two sides of the desk.
In the center was a photograph of Tavia O’Connor, mother of Young Emily, taken in the late 1950s. My friend “really digs” her. Has since he first met Gabby and Young Emily in Philadelphia in 1970. He keeps in touch with her. She is 80 now. Still in the same house in West Philadelphia near Clark Park.
Okay – lots of photos, sensory overload even. What did he think about my Berkeley unexpected statuary?
Are any the photos of sam rodia unpublished ones? I’ve visited his grave in Martinez.
I don’t think so. Understand that you are on a post in my website that is utter fiction, and is in a category of posts that is not often visited.
Someone gave me a concrete garden gnome, gave it with irony. I planted it pointy hat down—-your point exactly. I still have it but it’s now right side up. The chickens hang out with it in the morning.
Gnomes are often ironic. This garden statuary, not so much.