At the rehab place last May, beautiful grounds and bad art

In May 2010, a family member of mine ended up in a rehab facility. Thankfully, there was a complete recovery from the injury.

The rehab place is a very good place, very well known. I thought the care was very good. I was glad we could get in.

The grounds, though not large, were beautiful, well landscaped, with secret little nooks and places where people in wheelchairs could gather.   Being out there was restful.

The grounds of the rehab center. May 2010

Flowers and a path. May 2010

Secret garden. May 2010

Secret garden, and a glider. May 2010

Then there was the statue. I’m sure the artist and the donor were well meaning, but to me, the work does not evoke real and honest emotions. It’s sentimental,maudlin. The sculpture also doesn’t make sense, as a family member pointed out to me. Why is the little girl still clutching her crutches, wouldn’t she drop them?

I think the style is supposed to be reminiscent of the social realists. I’ll quote “hard-edged muscular forms popularized by Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco” — This was a style for paintings and murals, not as far as I know, a 3D work. This looks like an appropriation of a style without everything that goes with it. It doesn’t provide the impact, the political punch, of, for example, the murals of Diego Rivera.

I’ve been in enough hospitals and public spaces to have experienced my share of institutional art. While the art is not generally controversial — that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. You can evoke an emotional response, if that is your intent, without resorting to a little girl in a dress and crutches being lifted by a social realist character from the 30s wearing workman clothes. Just stop.

The statue


Clutching the crutches


I’ll close with several photos of the beautifully landscaped grounds.

A space big enough for wheelchairs. May 2010

Lovely grounds. May 2010

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