Friday, August 29, 2014

Blank-Eyed JFK

In the median of the 79th St. Causeway in North Bay Village, FL, there's this giant bust of President John F. Kennedy. Well, okay, it's not exactly great ("Mister Kimball!) because it seems like his head here is even bigger than it was in real life. You know, proportionately, I mean. And something about translating the President's hair into sculpture really drives it home how obviously the man wore a hairpiece but no one ever really talks about that. (They don't talk much about our current President's hairpiece either, come to think of it.)

Anyway, if you want to see the great big Kennedy head, it's east of the bridge, facing west, and if you want to get out and examine it closely you're going to need to park at least a block away, and then dangerously cross two lanes of traffic. In order words, I wouldn't advise it.

Why so many sculptors choose to leave the eyes devoid of detail when doing an otherwise lifelike rendering is beyond me. Yes, yes, I understand that to do so would be to make a mark - either convex or concave - that does not actually correspond to the subject's actual physiology. But who cares? Mr. Kennedy's body wasn't truncated at the shoulders either, now was it? We're talking about art here, where's your suspension of disbelief?

Be that as it may, I think the Tor Johnson/Little Orphan Annie effect works quite well under these circumstances. Someday in the future - like fifteen minutes from now, maybe - the walkers who inherit the Earth after the zombie apocalypse will gaze dully at the bust, and wonder.

(Maybe you can visit the big JFK head on the same day as the big Beethoven head and really "do" Florida's historical big-head tour.)

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