Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chicago's 25-foot American Gothic Sculpture: When you come to pitchfork in the road, take it!



Who doesn't like having their picture taken in front of a 25-foot replica of a Grant Wood painting?



Baby got back!

Chicago is a city laden with great outdoor artworks, not the least of which is this 25-foot interpretation of Grant Wood's famous (and often parodied) painting American Gothic by renown sculptor (and Johnson & Johnson heir) J. Seward Johnson. The original painting resides just down the road at the outstanding Chicago Institute of Art, so who better to host this eccentric eye-catcher, which rests along the city's Magnificent Mile at 401 Michigan Avenue. It's awesome in its incongruity: earnest farm folk among gleaming skyscrapers, the Midwest's salt of the earth among the Midwest's most sophisticated urban backdrop, humble farmers blown up to giant urban dwellers. It's also awesome in its execution as a really faithful and really beautiful work of art in its own right. And its just plain fun to walk around, gawk at, and have your picture taken in front of, as any really big thing ought to be. I'm not quite sure what the suitcase signifies... perhaps the sculptor is imagining the farmers are visiting the city for the weekend and are looking for their hotel. In any event, you can't miss it, nor should you. It's pitchfork perfect.

6 comments:

Rick said...

wow - that is super cool!

Kris the Educated Vagabond said...

I also just saw that sculpture and will be posting about it on my blog, The Yellow Brick Road Trip. It was quite a surprise because I used to work on Michigan Avenue before it was there. I turned to my friend and asked, "That wasn't always there, right?" I thought I might have actually been completely oblivious for years!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

That's funny, Kris. I hadn't heard about it either and I had done lots of roadtrip research ahead of time. We were on a tour bus when I saw it and I could not believe my eyes!

white trash Peg said...

So great you have photos of this! I saw this from my hotel window awhile back and had no idea it was there before that. Grant Wood and Chicago are among my favorite things...

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