Vice magazine has an interview with sculptor C.J. Rench who was chosen by the Red Bull panel (including Torey Pudwill) to construct a skateable sculpture for permanent installation in Seattle. Sounds like a good plan, the city gets art, the skaters are allowed to skate on it, and a corporation gets to pay for it. Red Bull has a short video on the “skate space” that shows the other artist who made it to the finalist position, as well as examples of both of works. From the sculptures shown, I’d say the chose the wrong guy. Granted, I wasn’t on the board, but the other guy’s portfolio ( W. Scott Trimble ) had some pieces in it that already leaned towards an impression of being skateable. On the other hand, CJ’s work to date appears to be they type of stationary sculpture that is isolated in a presentation space and not part of a larger environment. In fact, looking at the scale model and rendering, the sculpture appears to be marginally skateable at best. There’s a telling clue in the Red Bull video, a big part of the decision appeared to be based on who could get it done on time for an unspecified and possibly arbitrary deadline. Let me simplify my position on this. I’m all for Red Bull paying for public art under the stipulation that it will also be accessible as a skate spot. It’s just that the (admittedly limited) representations of the final design don’t appear to have considered the actual skateboarding part of the requirement. Show me some alternate views and prove me wrong!
Here’s the final concept, to be installed in October.
Red Bull’s video about the project. Sometimes the video doesn’t load, you may need to refresh the page.