As awful as the product on the field is, all 6 Washington Nationals fans can take solace in at least that they play in a gorgeous new ball-park. Unfortunately, the District’s government is intent on ruining the beauty of the stadium. On Wednesday, 4 new public works of art were revealed at the stadium just inside the center field gates featuring former stars of Washington baseball past, Walter Johnson, Frank Howard and Josh Gibson. In addition, a giant mobile was hung by the food concessions on the first base line. Soon, fans may actually prefer to see the awful play on the field, if only to erase the awful memory of these works of “art.”
The statues were designed by Israeli-born sculptor Omri Amrany, who is now based in Highwood, Illinois and who specializes in sports art. He may want a new specialty. Intending to use the bronze and capture the speed of the game, Amrany instead made the players look like they have multiple limbs and tumorous growths on their backs. Amrany says that the bronze growths that push out from the players’ backs and legs are meant somehow to indicate the momentum of their actions; that their multiple limbs are meant to convey the players’ moving parts. Instead, they make the players nearly unrecognizable and ruin the overall pieces.
The mobile, actually comprised of 4 different mobiles was designed by Washington-based artist Walter Kravitz and while less awful than the bronze statues are boring and uninspired. Featuring wacky cut-outs of players in Scooby-Doo-type colors they left one child who saw them saying, “I really don’t like how they did the bodies.” And if you can’t impress kids with your art, then just get out of the game.
Fortunately, these works only cost $600,000 out of the public coffers. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE public funding of art, I think it is an extremely important thing for our government to do, I just wish they had picked better artists…However, considering how middling the Nationals are likely to be for the near future, maybe these statues make perfect sense…