The newest art installation in one of Boston's trendiest neighborhoods blends the concept of life and coexistence, as animal sculptures encounter the human world.
One way for a city to get more attention is to commission a piece of public art. That can be a crapshoot sometimes, especially if the creation doesn't jibe with the sensibilities of the locals, especially those who don't like taxpayer dollars going into cultural pursuits. Granted, not everyone can have an Eiffel Tower or a Statue of Liberty, but some examples of public monuments worldwide have not only been controversial, they've even had citizens questioning the judgment and even sanity of those responsible for some rather arcane creations.
Here's hoping that the sculptures popping up around Boston's seaport area don't fall into that category. For openers, the installations, some of which are as high as 12 feet tall, don't look like anything that would challenge the morality of even the most controversial Bostonian. They're also quite colorful as if begging for attention from those who stroll through the seaport neighborhood.
That was the intent of Spanish visual artist Okuda San Miguel, who was so inspired by the seaport scenery, he wanted to create works that both stand out from, and coexist with, the urban surroundings. With funding from property firm WS Development and artistic collective JustKinds, San Miguel has managed to create a number of works designed to lure pedestrians from shoegazing mode or pecking away at their smartphones.
The artist has managed to make giant installations of animals like squirrels, birds, and deer look almost majestic and sleek with a geodesic-like design that forms the contours of the subjects, with each exterior panel painted in a variety of bright colors. Another installation resembles a spiky patch of reeds that look like it would be more at home perched on a futuristic coral.
The seven installations built in the Boston locale are part of San Miguel's project called Air, Sea, Land, which is to date the artist's biggest project. The theme suggests that the works are meant to coexist in a blend of ecosystems suggested by the title. Whether San Miguel has succeeded is a decree meant for hardened visual arts critics. But if anything, they have certainly added an element of hipness to the neighborhood that's already recognized as one of the trendiest in Beantown.
For a more extensive look at San Miguel's results, check out the mobile tour.