Making A Spectacle of Public Art

Hindsight, like a good pair of varifocals, is 20/20. But it’s hard to see that this artwork would have stirred too much of a fuss if it had just been installed on the Promenade as a pair of giant Ray-Bans.
Glasses should be prescriptive; public art, not so much. The work is called “Perceiving Freedom”. People should have been left to perceive it as they wish.
I have to confess, I quite like this work. I like its brushed metallic sheen, which nicely catches the glint of Atlantic light.
I like its brutal literalism: it really is a giant pair of Ray-Bans. Albeit now without the lenses and the logo. I like the way it makes people stop, and think, and talk and maybe argue, and move on.
And I like the way that to children, this is not a symbol or an outrage or a sight for sore eyes. It’s a playground.

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