Thursday, March 27, 2008

Art Brings Truth

Via Appellate Law & Practice, here's a mildly interesting story about some recent artistic additions to the federal courthouse in Boston. Well, "artistic" is in the eye of the beholder, I guess - it's a series of large fiberglass and aluminum panels each painted a different solid color. According to the story, it's the most valuable piece of art in Boston by a living artist. That doesn't necessarily impress:

'This is a gorgeous building, and every time I come in here I think that they belong in a kindergarten,' said Mala Rafik, a Boston civil litigation attorney, shifting her gaze from the courthouse’s breathtaking curved glass wall to a pair of blue and orange panels. 'They’re just colored blocks.'

* * *

Ray Cheng, a longtime cashier at the courthouse cafe, calls them baffling and clutched his chest in mock horror when he heard how much they cost.

'Oh, my God, if it were me, I’d sell it,' he said.

* * *

Robert A. George, a Boston criminal defense lawyer, has barely noticed the panels through the years. 'I’m heading straight to Home Depot so I can make my masterwork on a piece of plywood tonight,' he said.
The idea was to brighten up the joint with the help of several hundred thousand dollars of your money. And somebody took notice:
Whether one likes modern art or not, Kelly’s panels add a dash of cheer. As one court officer standing near the courthouse entrance put it, 'It’s nice to have some paintings here, because there’s so much sadness. There’s a lot of people going to jail.'
Yes, indeed, there are.

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