September 30, 2007

Public But Not Forgotten: a potato in a parking lot

I am very fond of a certain potato in a parking lot. But it's not just any potato. It's a bronze potato sculpture, and it's sitting in the parking lot of Anawalt Lumber & Hardware in West Los Angeles.
Seriously. Do people even notice it on their way to the hardware store? Do they stop and think how those three massive bronze potatoes could balance off each other so precariously? It is art, after all. Someone had to imagine it and cast it in bronze. It's got a title and everything: "Crutch."
When shoppers use a car remote to lock/unlock their cars, and the potato sculpture happens to be obstructing their view of the automobile, then maybe, maybe, they see "Crutch" for a second... but I think that's about it. I mean, if anyone saw you admiring it in the parking lot, wouldn't they laugh at you?
I guess we've forgotten that art can exist in something as banal and utilitarian as a parking lot. Well, at Pico and Sepulveda, apparently it can. So the next time you need lumber, a bolt, or an eyeglass screwdriver, just remember that art might be lurking someplace unexpected, and closer than you think.