Some are calling it: The Head That Took Over Downtown Walnut Creek.
Seyed Alavi's "Fountain Head" was recently installed in front of the Mechanics Bank on North Main Street. But a number of Nut Creekians question its artistic relevance and merit.
Scarlett Mijatovich, who took the nighttime portrait of Walnut Creek's latest entry in the public art space, had a particularly strong reaction to the piece, blogging:
"SERIOUSLY?!?! Who replaces a perfectly good and NORMAL stone fountain with THIS?!!?! I feel like it's just going to open its eyes and swallow us..
(Oh and note the water splashing out from the top of his head!!)
We then drove around the rest of the town to see if any other fountains had been DESTROYED AND STRIPPED OF THEIR PRIDE. Luckily none were except fro a second stone fountain on the same street, only it had been replaced with just a small ball instead of a giant scary head."
Seyed Alavi said he wanted the fountain to be a community focal point, as fountains historically have been centers of community life, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times. And he wanted it to be playful because fountains attract children.
The Walnut Creek Facebook entry (you can find it here, dated June 29) on "Fountain Head" has drawn 17 comments and counting. Here's a sampling:
- Are these by the same artist who did the Egg Head pieces at UC Davis?
- Hope this isn't taxpayer dollars spent.
- I've decided this so weird and creepy, that I like it :)
- I love it
- I love it too.... its rather peaceful to me.. and yet there's an anticipation of him popping his eyes open.. lol... I just don't know what it has to do with the bank??
- It has nothing to do with the bank, it was a super lame fountain before with just pipes sicking out, so not it is at least interesting.
- how about some koi in the fountain pool?
- Juliet: taxpayer dollars is a yes/no/maybe -- follow the link above the photo to the story on walnutcreek.patch.com -- LDH
- Just got home from checking it out... how I wish the bubbles were coming out from the nose instead...
- @Juliet, saw this on the patch right after you dropped me off today! I'm not a fan of clowns or creepy doll heads and to me this is in that category!
- I love it! So weird and unexpected!
- This is on Main Street???!! That's a question.
- Head is too large for the pool. Not good scale and the color is off putting. Thumbs down.
- And the City paid $$$$$ for this??
- It's really Beautiful, if people can't see the beauty and serenity in it, then it is they who are lacking. Who hasn't taken a moment in a pool or lake in just the some kind of moment. ... What kind of criticisms are being made? It looks rather Buddha like. ॐ
- agreed Bobby .. I have to walk over and see it today .. I'll send you more pix of it. ॐ
Lamorinda also has a few examples of public art, some memorable and beloved... others, not so much. The area's reaction was largely favorable when an Orinda bicycle rack was "yarn bombed" by a Berkeley artist and even some of our cookie-cutter, cutsie pie lawn art has developed loyal and faithful followings who regard them as inspired as the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
If you've got an opinion on "The Head," let us know. And if you have a shot of your favorite piece of public art, send that on in, too, as it will give us an idea of what your eye is beholding.