Yeah, But Is It Art? Sí, ¿Pero Es Arte?

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

FUENGIROLA IS FAMOUS, in my mind at least, for questionable decisions on public art installations. I like some of the works, don’t much like some others, and am embarrassed by many more. For example, the homage to the Seat (a make of Spanish car founded by the State in 1950 and sold to Volkswagen in 1986) shown at the top of this post. So, I’m just a bit concerned about what’s being built on the Paseo right across the street from us. The sign says it will be the Fountain of the Plaza of Nations. I had no idea we had a Plaza of Nations; I thought we just had a large space on the Paseo. I should relax. I mean how bad can it be? Then again, who can forget the painted rocks?


FUENGIROLA ES FAMOSO, al menos en mi opinión, por decisiones cuestionables sobre instalaciones de arte público. Me gustan algunos de los trabajos, no me gustan mucho otros, y muchos más me avergüenzan. Por ejemplo, el homenaje al Asiento (una marca de automóviles españoles fundada por el Estado en 1950 y vendida a Volkswagen en 1986) que se muestra en la parte superior de este post. Por lo tanto, solo me preocupa un poco lo que se está construyendo en el Paseo justo al otro lado de la calle. El cartel dice que será la Fuente de la Plaza de las Naciones. No tenía idea de que teníamos una Plaza de las Naciones; Pensé que acabábamos de tener un gran espacio en el Paseo. Debería relajarme. Me refiero a lo malo que puede ser? Entonces, de nuevo, ¿quién puede olvidar las rocas pintadas?

Homage to victims of terrorism. / Homenaje a las victímas del terrorismo.
Plaza San Rafael. Homage to himself, a swindler and crook who is in prison and owes the government billions.
Plaza San Rafael. Homenaje a sí mismo, un estafador y ladrón que está en prisión y le debe al gobierno miles de millones.
Of concrete; patched and repaired annually. For some reason, they always paint the “sand” green.
De hormigón; parcheado y reparado anualmente. Por alguna razón, siempre pintan de verde la “arena”.
Homage to the egg slicer? / ¿Homenaje al cortador de huevos?


Abajo: “Sí, pero es arte, Eddie?”
No. Es el cadaver del padre de Eddie. (de “Absolutely Fabulous”, programa de televisión.)

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Yeah, But Is It Art? Sí, ¿Pero Es Arte?”

  1. ‘Art’ is such a subjective thing for most of us… it ought to be I guess.
    I do like all the interesting/different ones around your area. I guess it’s important to try to please everyone?? I like that homage to the car….there I said it! lol

    1. Jim:
      You like the car? Oh well! I like the idea; just don’t like the execution.

  2. As a guide in our Art Museum and former member of City Council public art committee, let me help you understand the mind of the local politicos. Any politician wants to please the masses with art that resonates with them, brings a warm feeling, like peeing against the wind. It has nothing to do with good art and inspired artists and all to do with budgets and how much to spend on some item you can then point at and claim you did something. Looking at your pictures I have to say that your City Councils has a lot of people who don’t seem to appreciate or understand a public space and its capacity to display art that will inspire. Its the anything goes approach here and I am willing to bet they did not pay much for it nor are the artists have any lasting talent. Most of it is poorly executed to say the least. I do like the fountain and it is not unpleasant though the marble looks cheap like that used in a public washroom type. I bet you would not complain if they put up a big naked statue of you on the Plaze of Nations with water works and lights all around.

    1. larrymuffin:
      Oh, yeah, I know how it works. As a matter of fact, one local sculptor in particular dominates with his work. He’s not very good and he IS cheap But, I would definitely complain if they put up a naked statue of ME! Oh, my god! I have a feeling the basic marble used in that series of fountains is the same that will be used across the street. I wonder when it will be completed, though. No work has been done for more than a week. Permits? Marble being mined in Carrara?

    1. John:
      We’ve got it all. What’s interesting is that some nearby towns, much smaller than ours, have exceptional public art and fountains.

  3. I didn’t know Saint Rafael was a crook and in prison…I thought he was an Archangel and in heaven…The horses look like they are panicked and trying to get out of a tub…not great art, but landmarks to walk around…but hey, at least you’ve got the sea and sand and sun – from Frank in the desert.

    1. Frank:
      THIS San Rafael is not THAT San Rafael. This guy was a contractor and con man who redeveloped that plaza (among other things he did), renamed it for himself, had a monument built in his likeness, and let the City pick up the entire tab (plus some). And, yes, at least we’ve got the sea and sand, although I loved living in the desert, too.

    1. Bob:
      Oh well. You and Jim like the car. My photo makes it look better than it does. I DO like the idea. I just don’t like the execution… nor the way they trim the landscaping. And, I agree, they are all art whether I like them or not.

    1. Susan:
      I was never taught that. I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.

    1. David:
      You mean it doesn’t look just like naturally weathered bronze to you? (They paint it every couple of years.)

    1. Urspo:
      I have very eclectic tastes, but some of this just don’t work for me.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Well, sometimes Carney and sometimes Garfunkel. Some make me laugh or smile and some make me cry.

    1. Debra:
      Our great nephew liked that one too. He was about 4 years old when he saw it from the back of a taxi while we all chatted away, he looked up and very matter-of-factly said, “Boobies.”

  4. Painting the rocks was definitely the worst…but there are a few contenders here. That terrorism monument is just weird. And the car? Looks like a perfect spot for a tagger to get at. I can’t say I always love modern art.

    1. Cheapchick:
      Yep, they outdid themselves with those rocks (however, that was a different administration than all these others). I think the car was a fun idea very badly executed, and it amazes me that it’s never been tagged… nor have any of these as far as I know. Very respectful taggers. The terrorism monument is, I think, awful. And the dismembered hand is a theme the sculptor repeated on The Giant. He did a lot of stuff around town. Local and cheap, I guess.

  5. Reminds me of that Italian western…. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Municipal public art committees do both wondrous and weird things.

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