Last September, three giant jelly beans landed on the edge of West Hollywood Park. They are the work of artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who titled the installation Love Your Bean.
Art wears many hats. It can educate, inform, titillate, challenge (or support) the status quo. Public art installations tend to shy away from controversy. Woe to the public servant who puts something outrageous in the middle of the morning commute! West Hollywood takes its public art seriously, though. Its very active Art on the Outside program selects and commissions works by artists for placement in parks, along median strips, on billboards and murals.
The goal of much of the public art I’ve surveyed around Weho seems to be to make you smile as you walk past or drive by. That can be a tall order – getting noticed – in an urban environment that is already an insistent kaleidoscope of neon and natural light, colors, sounds, and movement. Add to that the fact that 90% of us experience 90% of everything going 40 mph in our cars listening to music, chattering and trying not to spill our lattes in our laps.
Even so, it’s hard to miss those massive black, lime and orange jelly beans that seem to have rolled to the edge of the grass along San Vicente Blvd – and then, it’s hard not to smile. In a way, the beans humorously echo the superjumbo children’s toys of the Pacific Design Center, just across the street.
Public art makes me happy.
Day 028 #100happydays