Eight cast bronze sculptures are located in a walking park along Spring Street between 1st and 2nd Streets between the Los Angeles Police Department's new Police Administration Building and the LA Times Building in downtown Los Angeles, California. Six corpulent "beasts" form an elephantine procession contrasting the two lanky and attenuated "monkeys" that stand as animated sentinels at either end. Commissioned by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program. Public dedication of "sixbeastsandtwomonkeys", Saturday, 24 October 2009.
Based on the four by eight foot proportions of the pedestals, I began to think about some bulky and perhaps slightly articulated volumetric animal forms as well as some contrasting thin and elongated forms. For a time, Eadweard Muybridge came to mind with one form animated along the entire streetscape but finally this seemed too literal. There is a long tradition of “animal” forms in public in Asia, Africa, Europe and our own country. These forms might signal authority or serve as guardians but they may also speak to our primal and earth bound bodies. For lack of a better word, I have begun calling them “beasts” because of their variously bison and elephantine qualities. They have a hump-like countenance and have a subtle figurative quality in their vestigial legs or limbs, heads and backsides. I have been thinking about them as a series of gestures or personalities where any sense of movement is quite compact. I propose to make six of these related forms on the six pedestals in front of the six seating galleries. They would be made of cast bronze and be roughly 3’ wide x 7’ long x 5’high. At the north and south ends of Spring Street promenade there are two more pedestals that do not have the attendant seating gallery areas. Because their condition is somewhat removed and different from the galleried pedestals, I propose to create two more animated figurative forms that I have been calling “monkeys.” They might be seen almost as sentinels for the “beastly” procession between them looking, turning and moving out of the walkway into the city beyond. I like their extreme and attenuated proportions as much as and in contrast to the earth corpulent bulk of the beasts below.