Vandals Target Clown Art in Coastal Florida
SARASOTA, Fla., Feb. 8, 2007—A cluster of clowns is raising questions of taste, art and local identity on Florida’s “Culture Coast,” The Christian Science Monitor reports.
The 42-pound, 6-foot-tall, grinning fiberglass figures decorating the city’s street corners are part of a public art project. However, since they went up October, at least two dozen have been attacked, kidnapped, dismembered or set on fire, in what a police spokesman calls “random acts of criminal mischief.” Most recently, two of the figures, When Pigs Fly and Ra Ra Shish Boom Ba, have vanished.
“Why would anyone do this?” asked city commissioner Ken Shelin. “And why would anybody do this to a clown?”
Why would anyone want to deface life-sized, grinning fiberglass replicas of clowns? Shit, why wouldn't they??? Apparently, Commissioner Shelin has never seen Poltergeist…
…Or Stephen King’s “IT”…
or the commercial that caused the temporary liquefication of my mother’s brain.
For Pete’s sake, Shelin – clowns are scary. They’re grotesque, grease-painted approximations of actual humanity, and people hate them. I have never – NEVER! – encountered a clown that didn’t at least give me that crawly vibe, in which the tiny voice of reason spoke up from my subconscious, and said – in a tremulous whisper – “Do not trust this clown.”
But then I started thinking – could it be that Shelin is a clown-sympathizer? Perhaps he feels that they aren’t so much creepy as... well, terribly misunderstood. And maybe this was a sort of clown-awareness project designed to bridge the rift between The Clowns and The Society That Fears Them, in which case they would have commissioned artworks that countered, rather than confirmed, the general impression that clowns = unspeakable horror. Artworks that depicted clowns with whom you’d trust not only your life, but the life of your loved ones and your children and your pets.
After looking at the website devoted to the project, I’m pretty sure that these sculptures will do nothing to advance clown-human relations.
Trust me, son – that leg can’t be saved.
I mean, WTF???? Even the most innocuous one looks like he just finished eating a bloody human sandwich:
Let this be a lesson to all city officials who want to enliven their communities with art. Life sized clowns = public panic. Okay? Okay.