Sunday, December 11, 2011

Faded Tomato With a Tattered Plaque at the Davis Co-op: ON Public Art Series #2 (101)

In front of the Davis Co-op on July 11, 2000, Gerald Heffernon’s sculpture “Portrait of a Plump Tomato” was dedicated by the mayor of Davis and the Davis Arts Commission. Two moments in this event are shown in images 1 and 2.*

As is also clear in images 1 and 2, the “plump tomato” sculpture was a bright and vibrant red.

I have been sad to notice that the intense red tomato of the year 2000 has become but a faded , orange-like shadow of its original self a decade later. We see this in image 3, a photo I took on December 9th of this year.

As bad, the supposedly bronze plaque affixed below the sculpture to identify it seems to be, in reality, cheap painted metal and not bronze at all. Or, at least what we see in images 4 and 5 would suggest this to be the case.

The tattered plaque reports that the City and the Co-op are responsible for this sculpture.

My question is: Why have the City and the Co-op allowed this sculpture to deteriorate in this fashion?  

*Heffernon is in a green shirt in images 1 and 2. Readers are invited to play Davis Trivia on the questions of who in image 2 is the City staff art guru, the Co-op architect, and the Mayor of Davis. (Newt Gingrich is not in image 2.)