Shredding Public Art

Is this desecration or participation?

Credit:Shark installation, © John Koster/North County TimesCredit:Shark installation, © John Koster/North County Times

The Golden State may be getting munched by a monster recession and gouged by gnarly government, but there’s one thing you can still count on: Californians taking surfing skills seriously.

In 2007 the Botanical Society in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a town near San Diego, put up “Magic Carpet Ride,” a 16-foot bronze statue of a young surfer whose awkward form, in the words of a society official, was meant to “represent a kid learning how to surf.” Locals, however, were unwilling to give the hodad any quarter. They quickly dubbed the statue the “Cardiff Kook” (surfspeak for feckless beginner) and created a mock My-Space page dedicated to ridiculing the Kook’s amateurish look.

Local artists began using the statue as a template for ephemeral art. Pranksters have dressed the Kook in a tutu and a clown suit, and one artist has created several installations, including one in which the Kook is eaten by a papier-mâché shark. While officials and the original sculptor were initially dismayed by this green-room détournement, they have come to see some value in it. “Maybe it will instigate more art and better art,” the Kook’s creator told The Wall Street Journal

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  • ||

    Anything done to the hideously awful public art in San Jose, CA would be a public service. This is a city whose premier piece of public art is a ten foot tall brown sculpture of a mound of poop.

  • ||

    ""But do these responses represent a form of artistic participation, or are they simple acts of desecration?""

    Are they actually damaging the art, or simple placing things around it to give it a different look? The first yes, the latter no.

  • "Artiste"||

    Is there a difference? Who is anyone to judge?

  • ||

    And it does look cool.

  • NotLinky||

    I drove by it on Christmas Day last year - the surfer was wearing a Santa hat. I thought it was funny.

  • "Artiste"||

    It's better if it's irreversible.

  • ||

    I wouldn't call it "desecration" if the original can be restored by simply removing the additional "art" from the area. so the shark is OK but painting the surfer pink wouldn't be.

    However, I don't think it should be put up with on public property. The shark should be removed by the authorities and the creator charged with littering.

  • James J. B.||

    What of the original art in the first place. I am so tired of all the monuments, statues, memorials that are forced down the public throats in so called public space. My thoughts are if you want to put out that crap be prepared if someone challenges your vision.

  • Trouble Maker||

    Well, since this thread is a bust, how about that opt-out protest that nobody opted into?

  • ||

    My Space? Talk about kooks.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Hobos in St. Louis have improved the Serra "sculpture" for years by urinating on it.

  • ||

    oops, I made my post before seeing this one. Great minds..

  • Steve||

    Burning it would be a major improvement.

  • ||

    “Maybe it will instigate more art and better art,”

    A hobo pissing on himself is better art than the average sidewalk sculpture.

  • I am not the government's ATM||

    Look, this statue of a kook surfing is probably compared by most surfers to the epic California surfer statue in Huntington Beach. The HB surfer is slapping the lip during a perfect HB swell and is seen as a legit representation of a surfer.

    btw, the HB dude is surfing au naturel.

    http://www.daytrippen.com/hb7large.html

  • ||

    I googled "Cardiff Kook" out of curiosity, found this: http://cardiffkookshirt.blogsp.....-kook.html

  • Old Mann||

    Hate to thread jack this muthafukka, but has anyone been to Popular Science today?

    They have a link to an article where that bitch Napolitano says that Homeland Security is now looking on how to best institute body scanners and ball grabbers at train stations and bus terminals!

    http://www.popsci.com/technolo.....chief-says

    Knew is was only a matter of time but I didn't think that they'd so quickly find enough sexual predators to start their prison rape/security checks at Amtrack and GreyHound too!

  • How about....||

    DHS stations at all state border crossings. (International Mexican border excepted of course.) This way The People could not avoid searches by driving.

    Think of all the new TSA jobs Obama could brag about.

  • ||

    Why would you blow up a train when you could just blow up the tracks when no one's there and the train will derail itself. Or derail a train by leaving your car on a level crossing like that guy committed suicide a few years ago.

  • Jimbo||

    Really? That's an interesting observation. Janet and her goons would like to "talk" to you, I mean, WITH you.
    You seem a little suspicious.

  • Douglas Fletcher||

    Check out this piece of crap in Scottsdale, Arizona. I've always been tempted to go up and piss on the things but there isn't any good parking near it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/c.....otostream/

  • ||

    I can't understand why we, as libertarians, are concerning ourselves with this. I mean, if we put our energies into this statue thing, what will happen to Four Loko, the Mosque, helmetless motorcyclists, strippers at the airports, and Newclear Titties?

    C'mon people. We gotta focus!

  • We would miss Piss Christ...||

  • fine art shipping||

    awesome post

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  • Andy||

    Amazing "Golden State". I love staring sculptures. If you want a material for your arts I have it into my website http://www.artsupplieshome.info/.

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