Annals of public art

From back in January, a story that got a lot of media coverage at the time, over this piece of metal sculpture Territorio by Edgardo Carmona in Fort Myers FL:

(#1)

(Not in Fort Myers, but elsewhere; the work has been displayed in a number of locations outside the U.S., sometimes with a flow of water from both figures.)

Yes, a dog and a man both relieving themselves, both marking their territories.

The Fort Myers installation was quite something, but within a few days the other 22 of Carmona’s “iron giants” had been overshadowed in the media by this one.

The poster for the installation:

(#2)

And the story of the unveiling (by Charles Runnells in the Fort Myers News-Press on January 6th):

The phone had been ringing all week at the Fort Myers mayor’s office. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to know the same thing: What’s up with all those covered figures scattered around downtown Fort Myers?

On Thursday, the mystery finally got solved. And Mayor Randy Henderson was there to help unveil what’s been hiding under tarpaulins and plastic wrapping: A family of 23 iron giants created by Colombian sculptor Edgardo Carmona.

“In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have anticipated something like this,” Henderson told a crowd of journalists, city employees and art officials Thursday morning, when the sculptures were revealed. “This is a world-class event: From the Eiffel Tower to the beautiful streets of Fort Myers.”

The larger-than-life, artfully rusted sculptures mark the first time Carmona has exhibited his art in North America. The show — a promotion for the planned luxury condo towers Allure — was organized through the city’s Public Art Committee and Allure’s staff (including developer Eduardo Caballero, Carmona’s childhood friend in Cartagena, Colombia).

But Territorio soon hogged most of the interest. A local TV news report (quickly carried by media outlets around North America and abroad):

(WBBH [NBC2 News for Southwest Florida]) One of the statues unveiled in downtown Fort Myers, Florida Thursday is causing quite a stir.

The metal sculpture appears to show a man, holding a beer, while he and his dog urinate on a pole. The graphic display has some people taking action by covering the man’s privates with a tarp, while others say it’s art. [Note: if it’s art, then exposing the privates is ok.]

There seems to have been no problem with the European installations.

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