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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

City of Angels

In October of 2000 four hundred painted fiberglass angels were displayed in public places throughout the city of Los Angeles. They were on display for about six months, and then auctioned off to benifit a couple of local charities. You may have seen or or two around the city - there's one at Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax (next to "The Grove").

I found this great website (put together by Ruth Wallach) featuring dozens of these angels:

Here are my favorites pulled from the site:

Susan Manders "Angelica de Espero" - Sponsored by Anti-Defamation League

Gwen Cates "Angelscape" - Sponsored by William Morris Agency

Jonye Feldman "Fat Charlie" - Sponsored by Southern California Gas Co

Cindy Suriyani "The Garden" - Sponsored by Nonprofit Art Corporation

Barbara Ashton "Palisades Angel" - Sponsored by Sidley & Austin

Lura Schmiedeke "Guardian Angel of the Skies" - Sponsored by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, LLP

Annmarie Socash: "Gladys Glass" - Sponsored by Kevin & Britta Shannon

It’s really too bad this project wasn’t a permanent thing. These fiberglass angels are bright, creative, engaging, and – in many cases – beautiful.

I wish I could say that about most public art. Much of it is either bland, weird, political, overly sensual, and sometimes just plain ugly.

The subject “angels” is a very familiar one to Christians (as well as Jews and Muslims).

Seeing a dozen or more angels around the entrance to an office tower downtown is a subtle (or not so subtle) reminder to both believers and non-believers that there is more, much more, than our 70 or 80 years here on earth. There is a spiritual dimension to life that is often ignored, or simply compartmentalized (i.e. "I don't let my faith influence my public life" - what's that about?).

I appreciate the fact that the many artists engaged in this project brought a timeless subject to the 21st century. Looking at the website, I certainly don’t like them all … that’s OK. It was overall a great display.

I heard someone say that Christians are better at criticizing art than producing it. As the Apostle Paul was fond of saying “brothers, this should not be.”

Art, music, film, theater.

They all influence culture. They leave a legacy.

But what kind of influence are they making? What kind of legacy are they leaving?

Perhaps better questions are: what kind of influence am I making? What kind of legacy am I leaving?

This town is known for making sequels.

I'd love to see "Community of Angels - Part II" sometime in the future.

It'd be very well received.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As one of the seven artists you chose to blog about I thank you for your appreciation and support. Most of us artists are truly starving. But we still want to contribute. See my other Angel at the L.A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona. I will be there this Sunday, September 22, 2011 for the tenth year anniversary, for photo ops and to sign cards made for the event. See you at the Fair!