Today’s assignment: compare and contrast

This is the second try at posting this, several people tell me the previous link is broken. Sorry if you are suffering thru a second reading, in that case, go somewhere else.

The story of the Bambinos continues to attract commentary. But thus far, the opinionators have avoided the “other” concrete sculpture in the original story. So here it is again:


Can one love one and not the other? Are sono-tube people with Lego arms better than Bambini with no arms? Are absent Lego heads better than present spoons? Are sono tubes better than skittles?

Could some readers who know and understand what they like, or know and understand Art, please compare and contrast the two installations as to merit. Is there a village of the dammned on Elgin Street?


If forced to make a choice, I’d go for the Bambini, they are softer shapes and have personality. The jury is pondering …


6 thoughts on “Today’s assignment: compare and contrast

  1. I don’t mind the Elgin Street ones because they are fun for kids to climb on and walk through. Could have a used a bit of subtle colour of LED lights to make it more interesting though.

  2. I’m not a fan of either installation, much. But I far prefer the Elgin one for a few reasons: 1) as mentioned before, it is a popular spot for kids to climb and sit and play. So at least it serves a somewhat useful place-making function; 2) There is a clear attempt by the artist to make a social or philosophical statement beyond “cute kids in a row”; and 3) even if the design is not to my taste, it looks like it was designed by a professional artist with a clear, consistent style. The Bambini just look cheap and badly designed. My prediction is that they will be seen as embarrassing and will be removed 10-20 years from now – or whenever the current BIA leadership is gone.

  3. Well, here’s the thing: the Human Rights assembly on Elgin has social and cultural significance beyond its aesthetic merits and it was designed by Mel Charney, a recognized and influential artist and architect. I realize that and five bucks will get you a latte at Bridgehead, but the monument did merit a visit from the Dalai Lama for its official opening. The Bambinos are playful (equally an artistic consideration too often dismissed by the artistic establishment) but pretty clearly meant to appeal to a BIA committee. If one or two of the figures were modified just a bit to resemble young voluptuous women I expect Silvio Berlusconi could be persuaded to attend the unveiling.

  4. When you subsidize something, you get more of it. The “art” set-aside for capital projects is a guaranteed way of getting more indifferent public “art”.

  5. Didn’t the local BIA pay for the Spoon People? I don’t see what the art set-aside has to do with it.

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