Legacy and a Griffon

This is an image of the Brooklyn Griffon created by Jimmy Bumble and Leonard White of the traveling found art group, Giant Robots, which creates … giant robots from junk – in this case shipping pallets and skateboards.  This particular art pieces landed them in a bit of trouble last September for creating their unauthorized art on the roof of some one elses building.  The building manager, Yosef Laine, who seems to lack both artistic sense and any sense of humor, called the police on the pair, had them arrested and had “one of my guys” smash up the sculpture.

My post from Saturday – the Samela quote about needing the public to like your buildings – got me thinking about one of the major challenges of architecture.  Art has always needed patrons.  But Architecture is far more dependent on the support of others than any other branch of the arts; a painter can create a still life for his own pleasure, a musician can play her instrument for herself.  But to build without resources or a site is much more difficult.

This story has a happy ending.  The picture above is of a second Brooklyn Griffon which was re-created a few weeks later on the roof of a more friendly landlord.  Read the story here in the New York Times and here at Core77.  Its a beautiful and wonderful structure.  But for me it is more interesting for its back story – the consummate architect’s problem faced by these two artists.  How do you persuade a client, city planners, land owners, neighbors, bankers and your boss that the beautiful design you have in your head deserves to be manifested?  I can’t always answer that question.  I’ll get back to you when I have more experience to add.


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