Spirit of the Seas – Hot or Not?

Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 7:00 —by Joe Crawford
This item was posted in Artists and San Diego Art Events category and has 14 Comments so far.

What do people think of the proposed Spirit of the Seas?

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I think the intent is good, but it simply strikes me as outlandish — and that’s in an ugly, rather than bold way.

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14 Responses to “Spirit of the Seas – Hot or Not?”

  1. Douglas E. Welch said on Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 10:43

    While I think the scale is a bit grandious, the artwork itself looks nice and well executed.

    Maybe if it were a bit smaller.

  2. adam said on Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 12:06

    I saw this a few days ago. My question is: Who’s paying for it?

    I wrote to the port and said I would LOVE to see that huge sculpture there (as long as none of MY money goes to it!)

  3. !1337 said on Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 13:28

    Wow! I like it. It is kinda pagan looking though…

  4. Janece said on Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 17:12

    According to the website http://www.spiritoftheseas.com/ , it will be paid for this way:

    “No public funding will be required. The sale of naming rights will cover all costs including construction and maintenance.”

    I think the sculpture is beautifully executed. The location chosen will be important.

  5. adam said on Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 21:11

    No public funding? Naming rights for sale? Then I say go for it.

    I will be first in line to see the “Petco Spirit of the Seas”…

  6. David Snow said on Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 11:31

    Here’s what I sent to the city:

    I’m sorry, I don’t like it at all.

    Why have a angry weapon-weilding god from a dead religion enslaving beautiful, free-spirited dolphins? Is this sculpture meant to be covert political commentary on mankind’s relationship to the sea? It sure looks like it to me. At the very least it’s vaguely threatening.

    Get rid of Neptune, get rid of the bridles, get rid of the huge barbed trident towering over passers-by. Keep the dolphins! Everybody loves dolphins. They’re beautiful, friendly, intelligent creatures with a sense of humor that seem to really enjoy life.

    Has anyone on the Board of Port Commissions boated in San Diego? Dolphins pace alongside, showing off with leaps, bow-riding and jumps. It’s an amazing experience. Most people will never see such dolphin antics first-hand… but it happens here all the time. I think dolphins at play are a fitting symbol for San Diego, and a fine association for an international visitor to make with our city.

  7. David Snow said on Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 11:33

    Ugh. I should have left ‘Auto-BR’ checked. My original comment had formatting. :\

  8. Linda said on Monday, August 4, 2003, 8:10

    I’m confused…people writing in are defending the dolphins and the official description says they are whales. Let’s clear that up. OK

  9. Eric said on Monday, August 4, 2003, 18:26

    My letter to the port authority:

    This letter is in regards to the proposed public art display known as “Spirit of the Seas”.

    It amazes me that anyone in San Diego would think that this is an appropriate work of art for public consumption. To my eyes, which are in their late-twenties and will have to endure this monument for many more decades to come (with any luck), it is the most outlandish, tacky work that has ever been conceived.

    It is reminiscent of works by Christian Lassen–works that may be beautiful to some, but are considered by many to be the modern-day version of “dogs playing poker” paintings, or black velvet Elvis portraits.

    Please leave the Siegfried and Roy theatrics in Las Vegas. San Diego does not need or prefer them.

  10. joe said on Monday, August 4, 2003, 23:23

    Hi Linda:
    This says that “killer whales” are the largest members of the dolphin family. So either use is probably correct. I think “killer whale” or “orca” would be more accurate than either “dolphin” or “whale” in this case.

  11. Kynn Bartlett said on Thursday, August 7, 2003, 10:41

    I don’t see a problem with it, but then, I don’t see a problem with public funding of art, either. (Even though that’s not the issue here.)

    The fears of a “pagan” look and a “dead religion” strike me as rather misguided. The classical myths are part of Western society’s cultural heritage. Isn’t it far less offensive to have an image that only exists in an iconic sense (rather than as a literal deity) than it would be to, say, have a huge image of Jesus or Moses? In Western culture, Poseidon or Neptune is taken as a symbol, not as a religious figure.

    On the other hand, when I first saw the small picture here, I thought it was a proposal for a Rose Parade float. I can’t see it as being “the symbol of San Diego” as, say, the arch is for St. Louis. But as a work of art in and of itself, I think it’s fine.


  12. Kynn Bartlett said on Thursday, August 7, 2003, 10:53

    PS: Anyone who thinks orca don’t have anything to do with San Diego obviously is not recalling Sea World’s most famous attraction.

  13. Peter said on Monday, August 25, 2003, 10:26

    I think the “Spirit of the Seas” is nice but I don’t think it should be the symbol of San Diego. This artwork would have been perfect for the 2004 olympics in Athens. Here in San Diego I would support it if it was at Sea World, Mission Bay, or any other place where it wouldn’t be considered the image of San Diego. At the San Diego Bay, I would rather see a monument in honor of our military. It could be something that our military personnel could look at proudly on their way in and out of the Bay.

  14. Peter said on Monday, August 25, 2003, 10:53

    comment — this thing kicks ass!

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