Poll on proposed "art" piece for the new arena

Discussion in 'Off the Court' started by Warhawk, Feb 28, 2015.


Do you think "Coloring Book" is the right choice for the art centerpiece for the new arena?

  1. 1. Yes, I like it as the centerpiece for the site and I think that the price is appropriate.

  2. 2. No, I like it as the centerpiece but don't think it is appropriate to spend that much on it.

  3. 3. No, the price for the work is appropriate but don't think it should be at the arena site.

    0 vote(s)
  4. 4. No, I wouldn't mind it at the arena but as a side piece at a much lower cost (say, $1-2 M).

  5. 5. No, I think we should use local artists instead/use art that better represents Sacramento.

  6. 6. No, it costs too much and I don't care for it.

  1. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    I am curious, given the debate in the other thread:


    on opinions on the proposed piece of art (Coloring Book by Jeff Koons, fifth in a series of similar works) and the price for said piece of art.

    The piece will cost $8 million of a total art budget of $9.5 million for the arena site.

    The website for the artist is here, if you want to see a photo of "Coloring Book" or browse other works he has done:


    I wasn't able to expound too much on the individual answers (there is a character limit). And I know there is some overlap between some answers or how you may feel, but wanted to get multiple viewpoints represented.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  2. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    While I answered #5, I could also go with #4 - as a much smaller cost side piece (and not the centerpiece) I would be OK with it. But I really do think that something more representative of Sacramento should have been chosen as the art centerpiece.
  3. Capt. Factorial

    Capt. Factorial Cantry Member Staff Member Contributor

    I'm actually torn between three choices there...perhaps you could make the poll accept multiple answers? Maybe you would get a bit more accurate gauge that way.
  4. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    I wanted to be able to tally votes like an election with either a yes or a no, however I also wanted to get an idea of why. (Right now it is 1 for and 8 against overall.)

    Multiple votes makes that more difficult, especially if someone votes both yes and no for some reason. (Both thinks it is OK at that price and would be suitable but would also like more local art, or some convoluted answer someone could come up with.)

    My basic intent was to have you vote on their most strongly held opinion and you can always go into detail in a follow-up post, as I did.
  5. pshn80

    pshn80 Well-Known Member

    A fun poll but you left my choice - "I like major art in public places." It's not important whether I like it or how much it cost. It is important that it is there.
    kennadog and Livinthedream like this.
  6. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    So you would be an undecided or ??? Sorry, I don't know what you are saying.

    I am specifically asking about this piece, not a general poll on art.
  7. Capt. Factorial

    Capt. Factorial Cantry Member Staff Member Contributor

    OK, well I went ahead and voted for number 4. But #5 and #2 also fit my feelings. I'd definitely like to see more local art (#5). However, I can also understand why it might work as a centerpiece (#2) but I still think the price is too expensive. But I guess the closest to my feeling is #4 - I wouldn't mind it there, but I'd prefer it much cheaper and to have the "centerpiece" be from a local artist or something that represents the area (or, ideally, both).
    Warhawk likes this.
  8. pshn80

    pshn80 Well-Known Member

    Fair question. My point is that it doesn't matter at this point. The important thing at this point for me is that we will have the art. At this point I have not seen the art. I hope no one thinks that if you have seen a picture of the art that you have seen the art in situ. Don't rush to judgement. Don't be influenced by the price.
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  9. Livinthedream

    Livinthedream Well-Known Member

    The poll is leading. Or maybe it's not leading and it's just about the cost of art. Either way, I'm not able to select any of those answers, as they don't fit into my viewpoint of the situation. I think phsn80 has the right approach.
    Jojimbo likes this.
  10. uolj

    uolj Well-Known Member

    I voted #1 even though I agree with parts of all of them. My understanding was that there was already a specific budget for art. Assuming that's true, I have no problem with this as the centerpiece at that price. I don't specifically like or dislike this piece, and I think $8 million certainly sounds like an absurd price, but whatever, they already had the budget so I don't have any better ideas.
  11. Gary

    Gary Well-Known Member

    We could just scambait a few Nigerians into making something for us and shipping it over for free? I have quite a few mice paintings from them and someone even got a huge metal statue of an Imperial Walker that was like 200lbs.
  12. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    Having the art was never a question. The budget for art was established for this project at inception.

    All we have to go on right now is the photos shown, and the one art piece will be taking up almost all the art budget for the project. I think that makes it fair game for a poll and further discussion, both on merit and price.
  13. kennadog

    kennadog Dog On It!

    No matter what was selected, a lot of people would hate it. Another question might be whether or not you trust people who have dedicated their lives to art to have a better sense of what to
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  14. kennadog

    kennadog Dog On It!

    No matter what is selected, a significant number of people would hate it. I have faith in the people that selected this piece, as a number of people on the panel have devoted their lives to art, including local artist Marcy Friedman, who is donating an extra $1 million to ensure $1.5 million for local art. That's a very significant amount for local artists in this community.

    I posted this elsewhere online:

    Here's an example of a public art scupture that cost $23 million and was done by a famous Indian-born, British artist. Tell me how it represents or reflects anything about Chicago. Except, it now is an iconic image of Chicago. People line up for pictures here and people see its picture and recognize its Chicago. It is Chicago now. I'll guarantee a bunch of people in Chicago hated this selection.

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  15. kennadog

    kennadog Dog On It!

    The very first piece of public art installed under the current city program was installed in 1977. I remember it extremely well. Why? Because of the loathing and outpouring of vitriol from a large segment of the population. Many demanded its immediate removal. There was so much outrage. At least equal to the current reaction to the Koons work.

    LPKingsFan likes this.
  16. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    Lynne, I actually like both of those works. I think it is a shame that of the $9.5 million we have devoted to art for this project, $8 million of it is going to one piece to a guy who thinks a toaster on the wall is art. We have so much more to choose from locally and they can do better than this piece we are buying. The arena was a Sacramento movement, showing we can come together as a city and improve it for the benefit of all that live in the area. The art around the arena should be the same thing, and not making the local artists an afterthought working for the leftover pennies after this overpriced mirror is installed.
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  17. kennadog

    kennadog Dog On It!

    Believe me, $1.5 million is a lot of money for local artists.

    It doesn't matter of you like either of The above pieces, bacause a lot of peopledon't like either piece and never will.

    I don't buy that v period would be happier if the piece was specifically about or related to Sacramento. Look how many people loathe tgecred rabbit at the airport and that was very specifically inspired by the Sacramento region and the location of the airport.

    I think it's wrong to eliminate famous artists as a possibility. That would be like saying we wouldn't want I M Pei, Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry to design a new community center theater for Sacramento, because he isn't a local architect.

    There's a reason the panel selecting the art has people on it that have devoted their lives to art, including local artist Mar y Friedman.
    Jojimbo, The Hammer and LPKingsFan like this.
  18. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

    You're killin' it KD.
  19. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

    That piece is freaking amazing. And almost three times the cost of ours.
    Jojimbo likes this.
  20. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    Obviously you see things differently than I on this, Lynne. If you think $1.5 million of $9.5 million is plenty for local artists, I bet there are a lot of local artists who would disagree with you. I think keeping the $9.5 million in the local community would be better served than sending the vast majority of it to New York. It's like buying all our goods from China - you may like what you are buying but are starving local interests by doing so. You want to improve the local art scene? Try funding it! Imagine what another $8 million in the local art economy could do for both established and up-and-coming artists - both showing them their work is valued and encouraging them to do more. Instead we decide to turn our backs on them in order to overpay for a derivative piece from a guy who hangs toasters and vacuums on walls.

    We are getting most of the food (80%, I think - don't remember the exact number) for the new facility from within 150 miles for farm-to-fork dining. The arena deal required a majority of the construction work to be done locally, too. I can't imagine why the art portion couldn't be the same.

    Is it your opinion the local artists couldn't come up with anything good enough to use for the arena centerpiece?
  21. Fear the Putin

    Fear the Putin Well-Known Member

    *splat* *splat* *splat*

    "Ah, yes. Now this is art!"
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  22. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

    Dude stop it with the toaster on the wall comment. We get it, you don't like the piece, you don't like the price... you want the money local... but don't just keep throwing shots at the guy. You come off as just very stodgy and frankly it weakens your argument, because now I just see you as some guy with a bias against things he can't understand. You say you've seen art all over Europe, but you seem to be referring mostly to classical art. There's been quite a bit of development in the art world since then. Not saying you need to like stuff... but it seems you just don't really appreciate modern art, or abstract art. You probably absolutely hate Warhol. Or at least "don't get it." Again, fine, if you don't get it, no problem. Just lose the tone of aggression and your points might be taken more seriously (they would by me).
  23. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    It's also unique (not a 5th copy of the piece) and dwarfs it in scale - the thing is huge. Cloud Gate weighs 100 tons. It is 33 by 66 by 42 feet in size. It has a constantly curving surface. The amount of material and labor that constructed that is huge.

    The piece we are getting? 18 feet tall and 9 feet wide. A two story flat steel mirror with paint on it. Compare that to Cloud Gate and they aren't even in the same class both in size, impact, and creativity. The curved surface of Cloud Gate provides an dimension of warping reality, while the mirrored surface of Coloring Book is just like your mirror at home, if you splashed some paint on it. Whoopee.

    I think that just reinforces the lack of value we are actually receiving.
    gunks likes this.
  24. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

    So you like Cloud Gate, and now you're defending it. But you using "materials cost" to support your argument is ludicrous. Cloud gate creator commanded an equally large sum of money probably.

    Can you please just admit that the piece doesn't suit your taste and drop all the righteousness you're trying to use?

    The materials and labor could not have been more than 10-15 million. That means the artist likely made 5-10 million, just for designing it. Also, he's not even American. So the money wasn't local.

    Almost the exact same things apply to Coloring Book, yet, simply because you don't like it, you're attacking it for these things, yet using the same criteria to support Cloud Gate. It's just a matter of taste for you.
  25. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Well-Known Member

    Yup, it's not only overpriced but looks rather suspicious that such millions are being enthusiastically thrown at such relatively small "art" structure - if approved. In total volume and height it's overall not much bigger or about same size as this - you can guess which one costs much, much less or actually looks better;) Bballstand.jpg
    Warhawk likes this.
  26. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    I like lots of abstract or modern art, if it is more than just splattered paint or blocky colors overlaid on each other. Van Gogh and Picasso, not so much, although I do really dig this Picasso sculpture someone linked to earlier (coincidentally):


    Paintings like this is pretty f'n awesome.


    I think this horse is very cool and this is the kind of Pony Express - related statue I would be behind 100%.


    I actually like Warhol quite a bit. He takes photos of people and makes them instant classics of art. If you are even putting Warhol and Koons in the same conversation, well, I don't know what to tell you. The talent levels between the two are immense.

    FWIW, I like this guy's statues - modern art but it is unique and new, not toasters hanging on walls:


    Something like these would be amazing in front of the arena, and I am sure there are locals who could come up with some pretty awesome ideas. We can do a lot better than Coloring Book. By far.
  27. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

    Ok, so it is just about taste then.
  28. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    About having some, yes.
  29. Warhawk

    Warhawk The cake is a lie. Staff Member Contributor

    Look, I get it. You and I are not going to see eye to eye on this. I just think it is the epitome of shallowness to say "the guy is a famous artist so let's buy something he made". We can do SO much better than what is proposed.
  30. kennadog

    kennadog Dog On It!

    You don't know where the money will end up. There are the suppliers of the material, the shipping costs and the installation costs, among other things. A local providing a piece might spend a significant share on similar costs outside of Sacramento.

    It's not a matter of thinking local artists are unworthy. That's a cheap shot.

    Would you reject I M Pei as an architect for a public building in Sacramento in favor of keeping to a local architect? Would you reject Yoyo Ma as a solo performer with the philharmonic in favor of a local cellist? If Meryl Streep wanted to perform in a theater production in Sacramento, would you say no, it should be a local actor?

    As to comparing produce to art, I don't even know how to answer that.

    You know how I support local artists? I buy their art, just like my mother before me.

    I can't afford a piece by a major local artist and I can't afford originals often, so I buy prints, although I do have a few limited edition prints and i do have some originals by minor artists.

    But I'll tell you what. If I could afford an original Rembrandt or a lot of pieces by local artists, I'd take the Rembrandt most of the time.

    I can't help but wonder how many of the people complaining about the artist not being local have actually shelled out their own hard-earned money for local art. I wonder how many of them could name some of the most famous Sacramento artists.

    Other cities go after great artists and architects. I think Sacramento ought to go for great at every opportunity.

    No we'll not agree and people won't agree about art. But he's an internationally recognized artist for a reason. Its no more shallow to acknowledge that than to acknowledge that Yoyo Ma is a great cellist, Meryl Streep is a great actress or I M Pei is a great architect.

    As to saying we could do so much better, that is only an opinion, not a fact. And some very fine artistic people, who joined in selecting Koons, likely know better than most of us whether we can do better. I certainly trust their opinion in artistic matters more than the average person off the street. Although you'll never get artistic people to agree 100% of the time.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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