March 15, 2005

The White Guy Gap in Sculpture

"Meeting of Minds:" I expected some people to object to my assertion in my article "The White Guy Gap" that a major reason for the current success of the GOP is that " liberals are now paying the price for decades of insulting white men." But nobody seems to want to argue that insulting white men qua white men is not an important part of modern liberalism.

I was reminded of that when looking at a new piece of "plop art" called "Meeting of Minds," which was plopped next to a public golf course and paid for by the taxpayers of Denver According to the artist:

The upright head depicts the profile of an African-American woman looking out to the adjacent North Denver neighborhood. The second head, with the profile of a generic [i.e., white] male, appears to be sinking into the ground.... The female is a profile of a beautiful African-American woman. A computer was used to help make an exact copy of an African-American models’ face... The profile of this head shows a stronger and more distinct personality than the generic head that it compares to. Inside of her head are iconic figures in all different shapes and sizes. There are tall, short, thin, and heavy figures... All of these figures symbolize the diversity of the neighborhood and the world... The figures in her head are arranged in a disordered fashion. This design symbolizes that people have many different interests and desires, and are all going different ways. Yet, these figures, are contained in a circular form that shows we are all part of the same world and unified, at least in this country, by the democratic system of government. This head celebrates diversity and symbolizes a progressive way of thinking.

The second more generic head appears to be sinking into the ground. The figures inside of this head are again iconic male and female figures but here they are all the same and arranged in straight rows. This symbolizes an old way of thinking or narrow mindedness. This head, sinking into the ground, symbolizes a way of thinking that is hopefully disappearing.

Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly, the artist himself, Mr. Douglas Kornfeld, does not appear to be either female or black. But then, as I explained, the reason white guys are so resented is because they are "the people who get most of the big things done in this country," even, in the case of Mr. Kornfeld's 16-foot tall heads, big things that aren't worth doing.

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