September 25, 2004
Brickheads in Indianapolis

So I google for "news" about "art", and I find my way to immediately to this:

Brickhead3.jpg

Fans of artist James Tyler's "Brickhead 3" sculpture, which sits in Davlan Park at 430 Massachusetts Ave., will be happy to hear that it's going to become a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.

In fact, Mayor Bart Peterson will use "Brickhead 3" as a backdrop today when he joins community arts leaders to announce that a quarter of a million dollars in new funding will be devoted to adding more public art to Indianapolis' landscape during the next two years.

Here is some more about Brickhead 3.

The mayor will make the announcement at 9:15 a.m. in the park.

In addition to the purchase of Tyler's sculpture, which is constructed of 550 handmade ceramic bricks and was installed earlier this year on a temporary basis, the money will pay for projects ranging from a series a billboards to other large-scale sculptures.

The Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission and the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which operate the city's public sculpture program, will oversee the disbursement of the new money.

Well I don't like the way all this is being paid for, but I do like the look of this particular sculpture. And what is more I agree with the artist that it represents an advance on Brickhead 2, which looks like this:

Brickhead2.jpg

What I like about Brickhead 3 is that the head is totally realistic, not to say mundane, while the medium is obviously nonrealistic. "This is a head" collides with "Actually these are bricks". (See also this: "This is a mountain with a tree in front of it" – "Actually it's a painting".)

However, with Brickhead 2, those bobbles on its head mean that the head itself is rather sculpted. The head that the artist is representing is itself rather arty. At the very least it is somewhat exotic. And I think this works less well.

I also like that Brickhead 3 has been placed in front of a brick building. That definitely adds to the fun.

I'd like to see further and bigger Brickheads, but of celebrities. Perhaps that Mayor fancies being one.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:51 PM
Category: Sculpture