March 12, 2003

The Blue Shirt Controversy

Category: Design

Milwaukee: Provinciality has it's benefits and it most certainly has it's drawbacks. Milwaukee's "Blue Shirt" controversy showcases the latter.

The county commissioned a work of art to adorn an otherwise featureless parking structure at Mitchell Airport. The chosen piece was a gigantic blue shirt made of plastic by New York artist Dennis Oppenheim. Granted, it's a rather atypical piece of art, but it's bright and more interesting than a blank parking structure, at least in my opinion.

The fact that no public money was spent on it would normally ensure a quick completion, but meddling officials have made it their lives' mission to de-rail the project because it offends their conservative sensibilities, and makes Milwaukee look 'blue collar', they say. Umm... well, Milwaukee IS traditionally blue collar, but that's not the point. Countless hours, and legal fees have been wasted on this argument that no one really cares about, and it now looks like the project has finally met its end: Cancelled, despite 100-some-grand having already been spent. All too typical.

Google turns up heaps of articles if you want to read more. Some of them belong in the Onion.

Posted by Nick at March 12, 2003 10:14 AM


Bonjour! Interesting thread. If you have time : Mark painting

Posted by: painting at April 25, 2004 1:33 PM