Despite a shaky concept and scant information in his recent investagative report on the Houston Arts Alliance, ABC 13 reporter Wayne Dolcefino does have a good point- where is the public art? With his double-chinned, slurpy pronunciation of Walter Mondale’s failed battle-cry "Where’s the Beef?" Dolcefino finally got to something resembling a point in the third day of his slapped-together investigation . After two days of moral overtones and falsely implying that Houston taxpayers fill HAA coffers (tourists do) Wayne pointed out that older public art is concentrated in places that are not public anymore due to post 9-11 security and that new public art has been snarled in bureaucracy and in some cases never built.
Jenni Stephenson of Nova Arts Project has been emailing in a passionate volley with Dolcefino , and while his bluster is palpable in caps lock rapture he is quite capable of summarizing his three-day, repetitive mess of a news story:
"no one has questioned the 1.75 percent ordinance for art. Instead we
questioned why monies set aside for the last nine years hasn’t been
used. The flaming chicken debate wasn’t created by 13 Undercover…
"As[sic] regards my interest in public art. That really isn’t the point.
In fact, it is the city controller, who authored the art ordinance who
questions the use of the money for big public art pieces instead of art
beautification projects, or on benches, architectural improvements."
Thanks Wayne, good to know that city controller Annise Parker, potential Houston mayoral candidate in 2009, is pushing the story.
There is no public art in Houston. There is no city identity, and there is no excuse. For all this Dolce dookie at least he’s pissing his pants in public. Most people don’t question the HAA, they laugh at them. Their pathetic attempts at intrnet age culture are a joke (RENGEN), Glus’s appointment to the top spot meant that we imported another loser, this time a spineless, suntanned punching bag. Why didn’t someone here who knew artists in town get the nod? "Modernist" public art, like the yellow one Wayne busted on at George W Airport, should be cut down in a changing of the conceptual guard. We should put a giant buttplug next to the airport, just to warn travellers that they are about to experience something that is a little uncomfortable. We could dump a few dozen millions into a Paul McCarthy! That would be sweet.