How can public art affect public spaces and how we use them?
Public art is a piece of art created to respond to the needs of the community or of a place. It is supposed to address environmental or social issues in the society. Public art reflects the history of the people, or of a place (“Public art frequently asked questions”). The worked is therefore planned and before its execution, collaboration and involvement of the community is very essential, as the any art must be significant to the community in which it exists. The relationship between the audience and the art is very much importance even more than the physical location of the art.
The publicness of any public work rests entirely on the quality of its impact on the public audience. It must create room for the community engagement by giving them a social idea but allow them to come to their own judgment. Artist includes even more challenging and wider areas for art has in the recent years extended the public realm from which the public arts should occupy. This has prompted the society to seek for cultural interventions to implore the artists to engage in art forms which promote society’s well-being and make good relevant sense of the spaces which they occupy.
In the modern days, identity of cities could be summarized on the public art forms and associated public engagement and are meant to offer pride, sense of celebration, visual appeal, fund and could go further to display the city’s wealth and health(Fuentes). Public arts such as monuments and graffiti are allowed in many cities, and some administration even pay for such services but a lot need to be done to ensure that public art make good use of spaces and communicate positive ideas to the community.
Due to lack of strict regulations, some city are forced to ban public arts that are either contributing towards draining away the city’s history or are not communicating anything positive and worth treasuring to the community. In Vandals and scandals, a perfect example of a public art that failed to satisfy the needs of the community is illustrated. This kind of work brought out ill thoughts from people and hence they hated it. They clearly were never involved in the execution of the project and although it was statute of a famous figure, it demonstrated nothing that the community could be proud.
The artist created a figure with short-skirt which at the same time is blown by wind and exposes the inner side of the artwork (Kevin). All the appeals which the artist achieved by creating the art did not relate to their daily life. The sexual and political appeals are things that the society was not going to be proud of and it had nothing to do with the history. This therefore leaves the artwork on the wrong sides of the citizens.
It would also be proper to say that the art did not have any message to the public and this may be reason it was viewed as a vandalized public space. It completely wasted the space and it failed to make sense out of the empty public realm. They only thing it achieved was the visual appeal to few people who derives pleasure from such sights but majority were unhappy. Pride, fun and sense of celebration was lacking and hence the art was thrown way from the city by the citizens who preferred to nurture their good history and their pride of their town
Public art may be controversial but as long as it has a message or an idea to put through to members of the public then it would certainly be allowed to exist. An example is given of the modern communication statute. It shows a man standing with shoe in his mouth and fingers in his ears. The art work is strategically placed in front of a police station of Kansas City and the fire department. These two are government entities that are mandated to respond to urgent call of the public (Spencer). In most cases these entities fail to act on urgent calls and the statute may be telling their story of see no evil, talk no evil but it could also be saying how communication is broken the modern society.
The police and fire department must fix communication between then. Members of the public are also challenged to check on how they communicate at workplaces, at home and any other place. The social idea is that people should start have effective communication
Public art is an important part of any society and it adds value to the economic, cultural, and social aspects of cities all over the world. The art also add city’s uniqueness and adds meaning to a city, while at the same time reflect the culture and beliefs of the people living in a city. Government should ensure that they have strict regulations to deter ill-minded artist from using public art in ways that are not recommended.
Fuentes, Evans. (2014). LA story: Graffiti gets thumbs up in Los Angeles. Index on Censorship, 43(2), 107-110.
Kevin, Williamson. (2014). Vandals and scandals: it’s public but it isn’t art. National review. Internet resource. Retrieved from < https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/370499/vandals-and-scandals>
Public art frequently asked questions. General services: City of Kansas. Internet resource. Retrieved from http://kcmo.gov/generalservices/public-art-faq/
Spencer, Laura. (2015). Controversial Public Artwork Back On Display in Downtown Kansas City.Kcur.org.