Sculptor who killed dog set to make San Francisco Central Subway art
Via San Francisco Examiner: A Brooklyn artist who once shot and killed a dog and called it art has landed a coveted $750,000 city art contract for the Central Subway. As if the $1.6 billion railway weren’t controversial enough, artist Tom Otterness’ commission can be expected to generate criticism from dog lovers and animal rights groups.
But in May, animal rights groups and dog lovers blasted a planned Otterness art project involving bronze lions at a New York Public Library branch. An online petition to revoke the commission was signed by 11,209 people.
“Tom Otterness is a world-renowned sculptor who has been commissioned by government agencies around the world to create major permanent public art projects,” Susan Pontious, director of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s public art program, said in a statement. “The Central Subway Artist Selection Panel chose Otterness based on the strength of his proposal and his impressive portfolio of past sculptural work.”
Otterness has long since apologized for the 1977 film project in which he shot a dog. He continues to receive commissions, and his generally cute, cartoonish bronze sculptures of people and animals are on display in the New York City subway system and elsewhere around the world.
But “sorry” isn’t doing it for everyone. “You do not let an animal shooter put up 59 sculptures in your subway system,” said Anita Carswell, director of the Guardian Campaign for In Defense of Animals. “This is a slap in the face of The City. It’s going to be offensive to everybody that rides the subway, a reminder: ‘People who shoot dogs for stupid reasons get rewarded.’”
While I can forgive and believe he may be remorseful, I don’t believe taxpayers should be rewarding him. He should sell his art in the private sector where those that truly want to support him can reward him for his masterpieces.