Oh how we have dreamed of this fine, fine day: 177 Townsend at Third Street finally received its promised delivery of public art today. "Artifacts from a Coal Mine" a 10,000 pound-plus stainless steel sculpture designed by Seattle artist Mark Stevens was hauled 12 stories in the air and affixed to the side of the building. Five separate pieces— three of which are four stories tall— shaped as flames, a ghost, a gingerbread man, a whale skeleton, and a series of small circles inside a larger one - are characters in an allegory:
"They evoke a lost world and the uncertainty of climate change," said Stephens. "It's about fueling our future by consuming our present" ... "The ghost represents us," he continued. "Fire is the fuel that powers. The rings inside the big circle represent the various ages of man, starting with the Stone Age. This is all of human achievement"... "I should have thought this through better. I think that we, meaning humanity, put ourselves in a situation where we think something will save us. The little character that looks like a gingerbread man represents our faith in redemption." We are sitting on our hands here lest we unleash the seasoned art critic within. Readers, please take our place at the keyboard while we check the sales at 177 Townsend, will you?
· Enormous steel sculpture lifted 12 stories [SF Gate] [Images courtesy Chris Stewart for the San Francisco Chronicle]