Posted by parhad on June 27, 2001 at 16:10:16:

This sculpture was made by a Mexican American sculptor who has since receded from sight...fifteen minutes of fame over. He is married to the actress Angelica Houston.

It is a monument of the Mexican god who took the form of a snake. It is usual now for sculptors to make only detailed smaller scale versions of their proposed monuemnts. These are then carved by a laser guided imaging machine that cuts hundreds of profiles out of a piece of foam, usually pieced together to form huge blocks, depending the size of the desired monument. You couldn't begin to do that with our sculpture becaue of the details...I would never do it with anything. This cutting device leaves tool marks which can be sanded off, or as I believe in this case, are left on because they look "artsy. I like the sculpture itself, though I think the use of only two main coils gives it that essential turd-like appearance people have focused on.


It sits at one end of the main downtown park in San Jose, a city bristling with high tech dollars and low tech art. I would have liked to put a sculpture in that park but no one even knows we exists...well they do now but we've never been any "trouble" to anyone and we don't have the political clout to get our way...yet.

The sculpture is cast in concrete and I've heard the city is displeased with the work because it's cracking already. I don't mean to sound bitchy about his... power to any sculptor who gets a fair shake and god bless the ones who get away with anything.


It's good for the rest of us however to see how price does not reflect quality necessarily. The sculptor was paid a half million dollars for this piece. It couldn't have cost him $50,000.00 to have it made. That's $450,000.00 for the "artist's fee". That's the way it is supposed to work and for a few it does. I think the city put up half and the community raised the rest. I will say up front that it isn't a very compelling piece of work, just interesting...sort of.


What I am doing with the Hammurabi is doing it for $2,000.00 less than the foundry would charge. In other words had I made this snake god I would have charged the community $48,000.00 That still doesn't satisfy those of us who feel the artist MUST be punished for even daring to sing our praises in any way.

I get no artist's fee, wouldn't expect one, probably feel terribly guilty taking it.


But that still wont satisfy some people...they will mind any money going to anything but a church. They will resent anything which might make less of a willing and martyred "victim" of us...ater all that was the promise for which we sacrificed everything and for which all our loved ones died. You wouldn't want them to have died for nothing...would you? Why not send the rest of us down that same path to "prove" it was the one and only and inevitable way for us to go? That's what these forums and churches and leaders are REALLY doing...making sure that the bill gets paid, IN FULL.