This stunning fountain wins for my favorite piece at this year’s Art Fair; titled “Gutter Helmet”- (evocative, no?) It is a merciless commentary on modern social structure and the inherent hopelessness of the human condition.
…And touché to Uncle Mikey, who mocks and baits me by willfully misreading this progressive piece as a bourgeois endorsement of Reaganomics. As if. Obviously, that’s exactly the message that the artist expects from the plebian, elephant-ear-anesthetized attendees of this so-called “Art Fair,” which is, as greater minds than mine have observed, neither “Art” nor “Fair.”
Emerging from a mysterious tube, both phallic and representative of the birth canal, the water (the PEOPLE) are individual streams & droplets, but transparent, amorphous, almost invisible- who can tell Lithuanian from Mongolian, Zoroastrian from Esperanto, transtranstransgender from one-who-likes-only-cake? What does it matter? Impelled helplessly now as one joined mass down the asphalt shingle of life (abrasive, impervious and comprised primarily of petroleum products) the ride seems thrilling at first, until we realize it only goes downhill- and there’s no stopping! The leaves, also comprised of water, but nourished in rich soil and sunshine, represent the ruling class. They are not pulled down with the masses but cling greedily to the surface of life, as we rush down, down into- the gutter- arriving finally at this hidden, low strata, shielded not only so that the leaves will not- CAN not- enter it, but shielded also so that the pathetic scene at the end is therein unseeable/untouchable as we inevitably continue to pour into it. The downspout below the gutter funnels the wasted remains of the people back into the mystery, behind a brick wall: unknowable. Does the water recycle and emerge again from the top? A Hindu would clearly see it that way, but an atheist would suspect it was straight down the drain from there.
She pretended a brief confusion, and replied, “Are you interested in our products, sir?”