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Arlene Slavin's Functional Art: Where Talent and Perfection Intersect

By       Message GLloyd Rowsey       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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To see my previous pictorial piece on Ms. Slavin's public art, click here. To see my previous pictorial piece on Ms. Slavin's art in the 1980's, click here. And to see my previous pictorial piece on Ms. Slavin's murals since 1978 and paintings since 1989, click here.

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The works below are described as "functional art" at Arlene Slavin's section at artnet's Artist Works Catalogues. The two firescreens and the mirror are privately-owned and used privately, but the other works are freely usable by the public.*

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In these times when public pursuits are increasing threatening, when a police presence may be more ominous to ordinary Americans than meandering into parts of urban areas controlled by the officially "lawless" used to be, only the wealthy can afford to cloister themselves and their art behind locked gates and guarded by private security forces.

In these time, Arlene Slavin's functional (and public) art are beacons of hope and public communitas. They were and are in a very real sense a public alternative to the works of countless, nameless graffiti artists -- to art that nobody paid for and was loathed almost uniformly by public officials - culminating in the public art of Bansky and other modernists. As critical as civil disobedience is in these times, one artist's expression of civil obedience demonstrates the dream so many of us share.

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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