Welcome to ‘Bill’s Twisted Art Corner’

Posted 11/27/19

Artful thoughts from a inartful mind:

First, let’s examine those two newish sculptures at each end of Water Street:

I’ve been looking at the newest arrival, across from the Visitors’ …

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Welcome to ‘Bill’s Twisted Art Corner’


Artful thoughts from a inartful mind:

First, let’s examine those two newish sculptures at each end of Water Street:

I’ve been looking at the newest arrival, across from the Visitors’ Center, when I volunteer there.

Somewhat eye-catching, arguably artistic (oxidized, not anodized) with a nice back story about its coming to rest there.

All true, but...my addled brain keeps producing the same twisted image.

To these eyes — and I’m probably alone here — “For Willene” looks to me like, well, a giant I.U.D.

I’m not a well Mann.

—Sometimes you feel like a nut: We now go to the other end of Water Street where we find the second objet d’art — ostensibly, a giant piece of hardware.

Here’s the nut of it: This outsized kids’ climbing destination seems better-suited to a playground.

This nut makes me want to bolt. To Henery’s Hardware.

—One last sculpture note: I recently heard a comedian suggest one minor, but funny, change to Auguste Rodin’s famous oeuvre, “The Thinker.”

Wouldn’t it be funny, the comic asked, if Le Penseur had his undershorts pulled down around his ankles? That fanciful image made me laugh, anyway.

—Artistic trio: Speaking of places that share Port Townsend’s love of the artistic, a gallery owner on Santa Fe’s famous art gallery-laden Canyon Road once made an observation to me I’ve always liked and still find insightful.

And, since so many of you have travelled to these places, you’ll probably appreciate this: “There are three cities in the country that are different from the rest,” he told me. “Santa Fe, New Orleans, and San Francisco.”

What, not Indianapolis? (OK, bad joke. From a guy —yours truly — who was born in Hooter, er, Hoosierville.)

—Seeing humorous works on the PT Art Walk is rare. But one peinture stands out. It was displayed at Gallery Nine.

The da Vinci parody painting portrayed Jesus and his 12 disciples à table, but with McDonald’s boxes and wrappers strewn about the floor.

Its title?

“The Fast Supper.”

—Gulls day out: Two things we’ll never run short of here: Seagulls and deer.

Long ago, I learned not to park under trees or power lines to avoid being whitewashed.

But on several occasions recently, it was “white-out” time even when I parked in the clear with nothing overhead. Leading to my idea of cheap entertainment in PT: Go through a robot carwash. And for a couple of bucks extra so you get multi-colored water! Ooohhh..double rainbow!

It’s almost as exciting as taking a tour of someone’s linen closet.

—I worked as a daily newspaper TV critic for 20 years and occasionally wrote for TV Guide, once the country’s highest-circulation weekly. (Whatever happened to TV Guide, anyway?)

I’ve often wondered why a local daily still includes a TV book each Sunday. With all upcoming programs now shown onscreen, who reads a TV section? I half expect to see Mutt and Jeff or Little Iodine comic strips in the back of it.

—The lunch bunch: Like many of you, I occasionally enjoy eating at the hospital cafeteria, where chef Arran Stark creates up some of the tastiest — and cheapest — meals in town.

One downside of dining there: Having my vegan cardiologist walk by the table and disapprovingly inspect my plate for any trace of meat.

Reminds me of a funny line San Francisco comic Steven Pearl uses on his vegetarian girlfriend.

“I eat meat and she says, ‘Plants are meant to be eaten.”

“And I tell her, ‘What the hell’s a cow meant to be...an air-traffic controller?”

—The grey skies have moved in big-time, as usual.

Which calls to mind a memorable term an Alaska transplant told me about the rare sunny week up there.

“You know what we call it when the sun comes out?”

Do tell.

“Cloud failure.”

(PT humorist Bill Mann’s curated home art collection includes several paintings of dogs playing poker. Newsmann9@gmail.com )

Mann Overboard


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Bonnie Story

An IUD! That is a riot! The sculpture does look like that, from the critical far-approach sightline, which is the key perspective of any highway-side Gateway piece of art.

Actually the statue is all about the local history of this community - it commemorates the infamous "Busted Bicycle Chain Incident" of 1918.

Oops, no that's not it....

Must be commemorating the "Great Port Townsend Sprocket Factory Explosion" of 1925.

Oh, no that's not it either.

It is a mystery to me... From what I have read, I guess if a visitor driving by the Gateway manages to also notice a section of railing at the Civic Center Annex, and additionally somehow notice a vortex in the night sky, the local connection will be made?


This piece would have been much better situated in a contemplative setting where one could read a large storyboard about the back story, and slowly walk around the piece from all angles. I don't find it suitable as a Gateway drive-by piece.

But, heck, what is a million dollars really worth anymore?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019