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Best of the 60's: Bill Russell (short documentary)

Posted by shawn cassidy on August 20, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Doc your wrong, it wouldn't be Russell. But it should be Russell.

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Reply paul
10:08 AM on August 20, 2012 
Call me a crusty old fart, but over the last century, public art has deteriorated to the point where I wish they just wouldn't do it. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I hate abstract art, or something like that. I love abstract art. Hell, abstract art is passe today. I don't know why they don't just put up a permanent public video screen up and show Russell highlights in a loop. Why not? Any statue they make is going to be crap. It's either going to be Russell sitting on a bench, so folks can have their pictures taken with him - have you noticed how every city in the world has three or four of those now? - or it's going to be an imitation of some photograph (in which case, why not just have a ceramic panel made with the actual photograph? that would be better) - or it's going to be just plain awful in any case because there simply are no good public sculptors around, doing either figurative or abstract work. Of course, I don't mean literally none. There are a few. Very few I think.

Public sculpture is a lost art, sadly. No doubt, a really wonderful statue of Russell would be awesome. But that is hard to accomplish these days. Maybe if you had a committee of really good artists making the decision, it would help. But then whatever they'd pick would probably be hated by the public, even if it was really good. Remember how people hated Maya Lin's Vietnam memorial when it was first created? Now it's recognized by everyone as one of the greatest war memorials ever made.

And I'm sorry, I've just got to say that it makes me sick that everyone has jumped on this Russell statue bandwagon because Obama called for it. I swear to God, if Obama called for a statue to be made of me, I would cut my head off and send it to him in a box, with a fake Nobel Peace Prize around my neck.

I should try drawing a statue for Russell myself, since I have such a strong opinion about it. I think I will try. I don't think I would make it look like him. Do do that I would have to have him pose for me, which I don't think i could get him to do even if I knew him or something. I think I would try to capture what I felt to be the spirit of his book Go Up For Glory. It would involve a figure in a dance-like leaping pose, reaching up through a confusing welter of forms, abstract forms, like a thicket. It would show the struggle and the grace.
Reply Franklin
11:27 AM on August 20, 2012 
Let it out Paul. Do the statue for Russ,I'm sure Shawn will post it with the Let's go Celtics vid.
Reply paul
11:40 AM on August 20, 2012 
Franklin says...
Let it out Paul. Do the statue for Russ,I'm sure Shawn will post it with the Let's go Celtics vid.

I think I will try to make a sketch, Franklin, though I don't know if it will come to anything. Can't tell if I'll feel inspired




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