Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quetzalcoatl Sculpture

Continuing on with my salute to the city of San Jose, California. I wish to introduce you to QUETZY.

Robert Graham's Quetzalcoatl ascends almost eight feet into the San Jose skyline. The original design called for a three-story edifice of gleaming cast-bronze - it was discarded as being too expensive. The bronze would have echoed the plumage of a Quetzal, as well as the association Quetzalcoatl had with corn.

The statue was commissioned by the city of San Jose in honor of Cesar Chavez.
No one was to see the statue before the unveiling. But oh my when the staue was unvieled there was an uproar from the San Jose public.

As Blogged BY: gsingh
Quetzalcoatl Sculpture
by gsingh
April 10, 2002
From journal People-watching in Downtown San Jose

At the South end of Cesar Chavez Plaza sits a sculpture that enraged folks even before it was erected. The city of San Jose spent $500,000 on a sculpture of Quetzalcoatl (pronounced Ketz-ul-KWAT-il), an ancient Meso-American god/figure of creativity and fertility dating back to pre-Aztec times, in order to honor the city’s Hispanic culture and heritage. However, fundamentalist right-wing Christians took offense and began to distribute apocrypha claiming that Quetzalcoatl is a deity devoted to bloody pagan sacrifice and that the sculpture violated California's constitutional guarantees against state-promotion of one religion over another.

They filed a lawsuit which was subsequently thrown out of court, the judge deciding that the sculpture was a work of art and a cultural artifact, not a religious token.

But the ire continues, even among secular San Joseans, many of whom consider the coiled snake-like sculpture to resemble a gigantic dog turd.

Cost of Quetzy: $500,000. A bit much for an uninspiring pile of composite cement resembling a cowpie.

It is planted across the street from the Fairmont Hotel in a far corner of the Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez - on a tiny disheveled traffic island. The statue is surrounded by Port-a-Potties during the Christmas in the Park Celebration.

Quetzy was constructed by William Kreysler & Associates. Graham provided them with an 8-inch model to work from. The finished snake is charcoal gray and cast in artificial stone - composite artificial cement. Something appears to have gone awry in the construction process - accounting for jagged "lines" and poorly fitting "pieces." The 8-inch model doesn't appear to be flawed.

Infrared Quetzy ala Porta - Potties
Mano-A-Snako with Quetzy
Snake up behind Quetzy

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