The public artworks that I chose are Asaroton 1976 (Unswept Floor) and Boston’s Famed Rainbow Tank. The similarities of these artworks are that they are both available in public view and that they are unique types of artwork. There is not much like the Rainbow Tank or the Asaroton ’76 types, as they were original ideas of the artists. Considering the effect that they have on people, both artworks seem to blend in the everyday life of those who see it in a regular basis.
The Asaroton is being walked around and stepped around, while the Rainbow Tank contains liquefied natural gas. It’s as if the artwork has naturally been there, a part of everyone’s ordinary lives despite the fact they are extraordinary creations (Millis, 1997). The Asaroton ’76 is an artwork like no other, as it is composed of bronze replicas of everyday waste and debris of the market, which is then embedded in concrete. At first glance, the artwork just seems to be a deformity or an abnormality in the road (Harries/Heder Public Art, 2006).
But if you look at it closely, you will see the intricate details and designs embossed on the concrete walkway. In relation to this, it is situated in a segment of the street which forms a major crosswalk. Many people pass it or walk over it everyday, but they don’t seem to mind. To them, the artwork is already a part of their everyday lives. Boston’s Famed Rainbow Tank is actually a gigantic tank of liquefied natural gas which was painted with five huge swaths of color, artistically placed as though they’re just strokes of a paintbrush (NPR, 2001).
The colors are yellow, orange, blue, vermillion, and purple. With the way the tank is painted, it’s as if it was just a large canvas for an abstract artwork. The stripes actually doesn’t resemble anything, but according to those who gaze at this gigantic work of art, they see faces of prominent personalities, whether they’re our friends or foes (images of Ho Chi Minh, Fred Flintstone, Saddam Hussein). The Asaroton ’76 is situated in the busy, open air produce market on Blackstone Street.
The place it is embedded is a part of a major crosswalk, so you can just imagine how many people walk over it or pass it during the course of the day. Heavy motor traffic is also present during the day, so we can say that this artwork is not something that we keep in museums or galleries, as it is best appreciated in public. Boston’s Rainbow Tank is situated somewhere along Boston’s waterfront, the industrial part of the area.
The rainbow tank is such a massive structure that many people can see it without having to get close to it. There were restaurants just around the area, and the rainbow tank has been a common view for the urban dwellers. The tank holds a good spot in everyone’s heart, as it was made originally as a sign of peace, and now it remains a masterpiece unique from any other artworks. The effectiveness of Asaroton ’76 in conveying an artistic message is incomparable, as it artfully depicts some of the common things that we see everyday.
It immortalizes the debris of everyday life, which seem to reflect back to us, how we oftentimes don’t recognize these stuff as artistic or as anything valuable. With the Asaroton, we are able to see how these things, no matter what they are, can be a very good subject for a wonderful work of art. It’s main difference with the Rainbow Tank is obviously the size, and also the feeling it conveys, as it serves as a reminder of the things we usually neglect or ignore, as for the Rainbow Tank, it is a sign of peace, that’s why it conveys a feeling of happiness to the viewers.
The Rainbow Tank is effective in its purpose of spreading peace, as it conveys a feeling of peacefulness and childish joy, despite the size of the structure. People who look at it tend to smile, even without a reason. Its mere presence in the area brings and assurance of peace for the people, though in reality, it could easily be a target of terrorism, with all the natural gas it contains. References: Harries/Heder Public Art. (2006). Asaroton 1976 (Unswept Floor).
Retrieved June 9, 2008, from http://www. harriesheder. com/asaroton. htm Millis, C. (1997). An opinionated, irreverent look at Boston’s public art. Retrieved June 9, 2008, from http://www. bostonphoenix. com/archive/art/97/08/21/PUBLIC_ART. html NPR. (2001). Boston’s Famed Rainbow Tank Inspires Admiration, Scorn. Retrieved June 9, 2008, from http://www. npr. org/news/specials/response/home_front/features/2001/nov/rainbowtank/011105. rainbowtank. html
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