Figolu by Mark di Suvero (SFMOMA)

Art in the Parks: Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field

From Park E-ventures, May 2013

On May 22, an exhibition of eight large-scale steel sculptures by renowned artist Mark di Suvero—known for his bold, exuberant works that have shaped the language of modern sculpture—will open at Crissy Field in the Golden Gate National Parks. Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field is presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.  

Crissy Field, with its unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge, holds special significance for di Suvero. When he was seven, di Suvero—born in Shanghai in 1933 to Italian émigré parents and raised in the Bay Area—passed below the International Orange icon to San Francisco. This left a profound impression on the young boy who would become one of the most influential artists of our time.

Are Years What? by Mark di Suvero (SFMOMA)

This installation of di Suvero’s works is both a homecoming for the artist and an opportunity for us all to celebrate his impressive sculptures, spanning up to 50 feet high and 40 feet wide, at this beloved national park site.

The free, yearlong outdoor exhibition will be the largest display of di Suvero’s sculptures ever shown on the West Coast and launches SFMOMA’s next phase of off-site programming while the museum completes a major expansion project. Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field also represents the crowning “community tribute” to the Golden Gate Bridge, closing the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary year.

Crissy Field, with its origins as a historic military airfield and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as a background, is the ideal setting for di Suvero’s art. His works—just like the spectacular national parks—simply cannot be understood from any single vantage point. With each shift in position the works’ intersecting lines appear to reframe their spatial environment, revealing new facets of even the most familiar terrain.

The installation of the eight sculptures in Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field will take place from Wednesday, April 24 until Friday, May 17, 2013. The sculptures are large and being installed in a public space—a process that requires heavy lifting and careful, meticulous installation activity. Crissy Field visitors are encouraged to view the exhibition installation in progress—but from a safe distance. An introductory panel will accompany each sculpture and a multimedia tour featuring interviews with the artist and curator will be available for download via mobile site, cell phone, and as a podcast. As an added benefit, Parks Conservancy members will be able to visit SFMOMA for free May 17–19, 2013—just bring your Parks Conservancy membership card.

Through their passionate interactions with the Crissy Field landscape, di Suvero’s sculptures will demonstrate art’s power to change the way we see our world. We are excited to connect new communities to our national parks through art that will help visitors see park resources in new and different ways.

Free and open to the public, Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field runs through May 26, 2014. SFMOMA will also host a series of public programs related to the exhibition in September 2013. For the most up-to-date information about this exhibition, visit the SFMOMA website.

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Update: Thank you to everyone who sent us a comment. Read more about how we planned the exhibition in this response letter (PDF).


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Comments

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TEN MONTHS down... two to go  
Submitted by Countdown Clock on March 18, 2014 
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Don't forget to order the grass seed, flat bed trucks and cranes oh my... the grass is coming back soon!! 
Submitted by The Grass is Coming! on March 5, 2014 
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If PX wins the mid-Crissy vote, will this give them more even power to dominate Crissy Field w/ similar sorts of annual installations?? 
Submitted by Presidio Resident on January 29, 2014 
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May can't come too soon...they need to be taken to a warehouse and carefully cleaned to preserve them... and then send them on to Phoenix or Charlotte.  
Submitted by Salty Bridge Fog on January 14, 2014 
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Amazing sculptures, I love them! Please keep them up for an additional twelve months!  
Submitted by Banksy on January 3, 2014 
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SEVEN MONTHS down... five to go  
Submitted by Countdown Clock on December 18, 2013 
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They are simply I Beams, no creative cuts ...only their size evokes a response. If they were desktop size they would be laughable. At this size they are just a waste. 
Submitted by Charlie on November 28, 2013 
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While there are many examples of "modern" or "pop" art that are inspiring, these clumsy pieces of I beams are merely a waste of good steel ... In addition, they look stupid in this setting. For that matter, the only "setting" appropriate for this mess is the junkyard. 
Submitted by Charlie on November 28, 2013 
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what happens after they are removed in may? i hope nothing else! let the amazing nature there be the only art there. why ruin it? show respect for nature, inspire respect for nature by not putting any thing there except cleanliness.  
Submitted by bill on November 17, 2013 
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awful sculptures. who approved them? was there a vote? they take take away from the natural beauty. what is their point? the area was just cleaned up, why put litter? so dumb.  
Submitted by anna on November 17, 2013 
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Those big pieces of metal and concrete put on the lawn are garbage. That is not art. Yuck  
Submitted by Ken on October 11, 2013 
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Cami, nobody owns in the Presidio. If you are on Lincoln driving down from the GG Bridge, that vista of eight of these things is just too much, day after day. Not every comment is by a rich snob. 
Submitted by Lucky on October 8, 2013 
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obviously these are not open-minded residents. these are very entitled, puffed-up, close-minded people with too much money who think that what they want should be law and no one else really matters. you don't own the city, just because you are rich enough to own a house here. this city is for everyone and we should be applauding art, even if it doesn't appeal to your personal tastes. pull your heads out of the hole you have them in people. haters. seriously.  
Submitted by cami on September 24, 2013 
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FOUR MONTHS down... eight to go 
Submitted by Countdown Clock on September 18, 2013 
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THREE MONTHS down... nine to go  
Submitted by Countdown Clock on August 18, 2013 
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As a sculptor, I usually appreciate bold pieces of public art... but I'm actually offended by these piles of Pick-Up Sticks. There's no harmony or organic flow in the designs to compliment the natural beauty. The color is the only redeemable factor. And yes, PAUL, complaints and criticisms are the foundation of our country -- it's called FREE SPEECH, so stop complaining! :-D lol! 
Submitted by Kerrie on July 24, 2013 
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TWO MONTHS down... ten to go 
Submitted by Countdown Clock on July 18, 2013 
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I can't wait to the day that those things are removed from Crissy Field and we'd get back the plain beautiful landscape.  
Submitted by Miki on July 11, 2013 
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the sculptures are wonderful ,perfect in the setting .They are larger than life sculptures and they are in a larger than life landscape ,This could be my best visual memory from visiting San Francisco .....with love from Australia  
Submitted by kerry on June 24, 2013 
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What Craig said! 
Submitted by Greg on June 24, 2013 
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I cannot believe the number of people in San Francisco who are so willing to show their ignorance. Mark di Suvero is one of the best sculptors living and working on the planet today. This exhibition is a treat, not an eyesore, and the fact that some people's "expertise" in the visual arts is based primarily in a bias against abstraction does not negate the real facts of aesthetic and expressive quality. 
Submitted by craig on June 21, 2013 
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ONE MONTH down... eleven to go 
Submitted by Countdown Clock on June 18, 2013 
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Are the buildings surrounding Crissy Field and that giant orange structure spanning the Golden Gate part of the "natural beauty" of the area? People need to stop acting like these sculptures are in the middle of a forest or something.  
Submitted by Anonymous on June 16, 2013 
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Chrissy Field is a stage from which to appreciate and interact with the natural beauty of the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay. Di Suvero's works should be shared with the public, but not at Chrissy Field where they are demoted to cluttered distractions rather than enhancements.  
Submitted by Sean McCarthy on June 12, 2013 
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http://bit.ly/18cFZMh 
Submitted by Ha ha on June 9, 2013 
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Seriously, Scott, you are embarrassing yourself. Your petition has been made fun of in at least four articles online already. Please use your entitled, San Francisco attitude to make change in some category that really needs a voice. These temporary sculptures are going to be gone in 11 months...seriously, go get some help. 
Submitted by Pablo Picasso on June 8, 2013 
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Don't like these sculptures? Have your voice heard by the GGNPC. Sign this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-the-ggnpc-to-remove-the-large-steel-sculptures-in-crissy-field 
Submitted by Scott on June 7, 2013 
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I think they should be there permanently. 
Submitted by Mark on June 6, 2013 
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For anyone that lives in the area, May 17, 2014 cannot come soon enough. 
Submitted by Suffering the Scurge on June 6, 2013 
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Raw and invigorating colorful and exciting....we are lucky to share the beauty of art and nature Keep them up longer then planned! 
Submitted by Todd  on June 5, 2013 
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By human nature, that statement is both impossible and hypocritical. I'm quite certain you have your laundry list of things you hate. 
Submitted by Just sayin' on June 3, 2013 
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Haters gonna hate. 
Submitted by Anonymous on June 3, 2013 
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Absolutely can't stand all that orange metal ruining the natural landscape!!! Please remove the Golden Gate Bridge immediately!!! 
Submitted by Randy Souther on May 30, 2013 
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I think the 'pro' vote block probably only has seen these from ground level from Mason St. (or on walking trail), and likely only once or twice vs. every day. From that perspective, I can see their point. That said, I recommend (NOT) the view driving down on Lincoln from GG Bridge in the Presidio, i.e., from elevation, seeing them (8) take up the full expansive view toward the city, all different shades of bright orange, rusty metal and browns. One or two of these is potentially cool, but this is unsightly. I really wonder what Mark di Suvero's opinion is regarding the aesthetic merit of spreading these out in a field in one aggregate display like this. 
Submitted by Presidio Resident on May 30, 2013 
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I commute every day from Marin to the Presidio and i am greeted by these terrible and hideous sculptures in the morning and afternoon. They completely destroy the beauty of the field. Every person I have talked to has said that they do not like it either. Not only are they ugly, but they could be easy to run into when playing a sport on the field. PLEASE TAKE THEM DOWN EVERYONE HATES THEM (no offense to sculptor)  
Submitted by Anonymous on May 29, 2013 
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Glad to see the Conservancy has suddenly ramped up the 'lover' posts, as they are deleting all below that disagree... see, the system is rigged to the few w/ what THEY choose as art, and YOU WILL COMPLY and love it or else. You have no choice, WE control Crissy Field now suckers! signed -SFMOMA and crappy art lovers 
Submitted by Veronica Vellatorio on May 28, 2013 
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"historial path of our culture". Wow, you must have been smoking a little too much this weekend. pixie stix steel girders are the path of our culture?? what? 
Submitted by Oye on May 28, 2013 
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I feel sorry for those who don't have the vision to embrace ART of all forms because they represent the historial path of our culture. This is an amazing opportunity for everyone to see such great works. Thank you MOMA. 
Submitted by John on May 27, 2013 
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The complainers are probably the same Marina residents who are fighting putting a cafe in an existing building next to Marina Green. It's so sad to see my city go down the NIMBY path. It's getting as bad as Palo Alto and Marin County 
Submitted by cavortionist on May 27, 2013 
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These sculptures are growing on me. I love the idea of public art and the collaboration between the Park Service, MOMA, and GGNPC to engage the public. At first I worried about the views, but there are still multiple vantage points to enjoy unobstructed views. I find myself wanting to head over their more often to walk amongst the art and enjoy the varying perspectives. There is still plenty of nature, grass, beach, views, people, dogs, and now art. There is something for everyone at this amazing location. 
Submitted by Susan Burke on May 26, 2013 
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I am all for "art", but why at this location? Dogpatch or Mission Bay could use these pieces, but why install this at such a popular landscape and urban resource like Crissy Field? I recently took friends from Germany on the walk to out past the Warming Hut to the Fort and Bridge and they could not stop complaining about how we "ruined" this landscape. Mind you these Germans are black wearing Berliners so it is not as if they are "nimbys" or "closed minded". 
Submitted by Scott on May 25, 2013 
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Why didn't anyone ask ME for MY opinion first! Because of these (temporary) art sculptures (that are meant to invoke a discussion), I will have to shake my head in disgust every time I see the bridge (even though I could just not look). A scourge on this city (where homelessness and drug abuse run rampant) is what these are! Society will fall apart! (nothing will happen) My rights are being trampled on! (in the richest nation on Earth) What next, ban Foie Gras! These are loathsome, offensive brutes, yet I can't look away! 
Submitted by Whiney Complainer on May 24, 2013 
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I love Crissy Field and i love it more with these amazing sculptures. And when you hear that Mark DI Suvero the came to the US as a refugee at age 7 in 1941 in a boat under the Golden Gate Bridge, and then see the color of the bridge in his sculpture, it makes the art and their exhibition in sight of the Golden Gate so much more moving and memorable.  
Submitted by Clara on May 24, 2013 
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Unfortunately, Crissy Field will never go back to being just a natural field with 'unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge'. It's now a display ground for SFMOMA...not just one area/section but the whole darn thing. Read above, 'SFMOMA’s next phase of off-site programming'... next phase...they are going to put up ugly art wherever they can can. GG Conservancy, this eyesore takeover was an overreach, no matter if you get a sudden miraculous flurry of supporters today and drive off everyone's comments. Is this even in your charter - I would not deem this an 'enhancement' nor an 'improvement' 
Submitted by Not Fooling Me on May 24, 2013 
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Ack!!! Art!!!! Calm down, people. Such suffering going on here! I hear Mark di Suvero is a pretty great guy, be happy for him and it will be over before you know it. 
Submitted by ChrisBnSF on May 24, 2013 
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I think public art is fantastic. I can't believe the all the complaints, how silly. 
Submitted by John Doe on May 23, 2013 
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Love them! Go often there after going to the Presidio YMCA. 
Submitted by Frank on May 23, 2013 
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I like them! 
Submitted by Kate on May 23, 2013 
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I support this project. Thank you GGNRA and SFMOMA. 
Submitted by Rod on May 23, 2013 
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Ugly! Please take them down. 
Submitted by EMO on May 23, 2013 
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Sign a petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/people-who-use-their-real-names-in-online-petitions-against-temporary-art-are-crazy Seriously though, this is great entertainment. Thanks, internet, for helping the angry mob embarrass themselves. 
Submitted by di Soooveroh on May 22, 2013 
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Any other city would welcome such an opportunity. San Franciscan's used to be open minded people. If they didn't love or agree with something, they didn't condemn it and demand it or they be removed. So sad. It's only for a year. This city used to be so much more fun. 
Submitted by April Sheldon on May 22, 2013 
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Please remember to keep the discussion civil - any comments violating our Terms of Use will be removed. Previous comments were removed from the page due to a list-cap; that has been fixed now. 
Submitted by Parks Conservancy on May 22, 2013 
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I find it hilarious that in a such liberal city people are complaining about art. Whether you like the art or not isn't the point. I think it's great that SFMOMA is providing us with new venues to view art in preparation for the museum being closed for two years. Perhaps we should stop being art critics and start worrying about how filthy, dirty this city is. 
Submitted by anonymous on May 22, 2013 
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My issue is with the artist who seems limited in his vision, i-beams and girders in front of a bridge and remains of the over pass containing the same elements-where's the contrast, the metaphor, the balance?  
Submitted by Roman on May 22, 2013 
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I also noticed they are deleting older comments. Maybe the Parks Conservancy is getting sick of all the people complaining? But there are an endless supply of those type of people in San Francisco so I'm sure this page will be filled with more gripes soon enough. 
Submitted by Paul on May 22, 2013 
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Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of this "art" and I wish something else had been chosen, but it's there. I say leave it for the year and let's broaden our horizons.  
Submitted by Anonymous on May 22, 2013 
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Mike, why does it have to run for a full year? Running their course means having to see those multiple times a day if you live or walk or drive regularly in the park. The other question is what they will cook up with SFMOMA next to replace them with (seeing as the door appears wide open as their new outdoor extension), old anchors, giant rubber ducks, bongs, inflatable piles of poo (Hong Kong: http://www.designboom.com/art/giant-inflatable-pile-of-poo-roast-pig-and-stonehenge-sculptures-at-m-hong-kong/) I would bet that the majority of individuals might tolerate, even admire a few pieces, but dominating the field was a mistake. (Looks like they are deleting old comments from this page). 
Submitted by Pat on May 22, 2013 
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I'm not a fan of modern art, but these are kind of cool! they are on a huge lawn that doesn't get much use... so why not? And for the person who can't figure out how to get a photo without them in it.... just go to the path along the water!  
Submitted by Citi-zen on May 22, 2013 
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A lot of people don't like contemporary art. They never have, never will, and refuse to even make an attempt to rise to its challenges. The year will be over before you know it– sadly, so many of you sound like the French 19th Century critics who panned Impressionism– and you'll have your scenery back. Sadly, none of you seem to realize that most of the scenery is already man-made and -shaped. Lawns don't exist in nature. Cypresses, palms and eucalyptus are planted, and those cute white houses were built to support our wars in the Pacific.  
Submitted by Philip Ferrato on May 22, 2013 
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I don't like them very much, and I graduated a civil engineer and appreciate public art. Still, I don't expect to love or even like every piece of art. Demanding to have them removed now is a little overboard. Let them run their course and take them out as scheduled. 
Submitted by Mike on May 22, 2013 
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Ah San Francisco, The City by the Bay... that hates everything. 
Submitted by david on May 22, 2013 
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10 signatures, Scott. Glad to see you spending time on this worthwhile cause. Perhaps next you can take on world hunger. It's art and it will be there for 1 year. Live with it. 
Submitted by Michael on May 22, 2013 
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Nothing will be done. The SFMOMA appears to be a quasi-governmental agency now, 'supported by the government but managed privately'. Somehow, they will weild the power to use Crissy Field or who knows where for whatever ghastly displays they deem fit. Still can't believe anyone approved this. Must be a lot of money involved. I wonder if Mark di Suvero has actually seen the full view from Lincoln, he may even agree it's overkill. 
Submitted by Ron on May 22, 2013 
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Might need more than one Wham-bulance for all the cry babies on here. 
Submitted by Anonymous on May 22, 2013 
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I dunno, I think they are kinda cool. There's tons of land there to look at views, and the bridge is really kinda lame. I mean, it's a bridge, big deal...neat for a picture once, but that's about all. It's like the all the victorians in the city, doesn't anyone else get annoyed that San Francisco is like a lame caricature of itself?  
Submitted by Anonymous on May 21, 2013 
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How much money is being wasted on those eye-sores along Crissy Field? To call that shit-on-the-ground, "art", let alone, "important", is a joke. Shame on the SFMOMA.  
Submitted by Logan on May 21, 2013 
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Saw these this morning. Wow. If anymore than 10 minutes was spent on the design and implementation I'd be shocked. Very ugly and completely out of place. I'm not sure if the artist managed to look West--there is a rather large metal sculpture right there. The best part, that one serves a purpose whereas this one is just an eyesore.  
Submitted by Travis on May 21, 2013 
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Dear Parks Conservancy employee poster: we did read about the 'planning' above, and how this 'launches SFMOMA’s next phase of off-site programming'... we don't care, we didn't ask for them, very few want them, please take them away and give them to some other deserving city. Or, at least reduce the time they will be out there (eight of them, really?) The few posters that 'like' these things and support them, how many times a DAY do you actually have to see them? 
Submitted by Anonymous on May 21, 2013 
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MOMA and CalTrans have conspired, moving construction debris from the nearby Doyle Drive project to the Crissy Field green for storage. To fool the public, MOMA has christened these erections as "art" and has given one of them a coat of bright orange contrasting with its huge black balls. Is anyone willing to say that "Emperor MOMA" is not wearing clothes let alone demand that this blighting scrap metal be removed -PRONTO! 
Submitted by John Oliver on May 20, 2013 
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These sculptures are eyesores. They detract from the beauty of the natural view of the bay & the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge. They are annoying obstructions & they are visually offensive. Please remove them so that we can have have our beautiful & serene view back. 
Submitted by Elizabeth Leaf on May 20, 2013 
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Are you kidding me? They do not belong on Crissy Field!! Isn't the Golden Gate Bridge view good enough? In would rather see the Mexican Fan Palm trees back on Crissy Field NOT these metal structures!! Please take them away... 
Submitted by Andy on May 20, 2013 
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Art is made (and sited) to expand human consciousness: to liberate or agitate our faculties to experience in new ways. That would include the experience of place. It's a bit surprising to see such vociferous objections in a city of open-minded residents, justifiably renowned for their questing for expanded and encompassing consciousness. 
Submitted by Mike on May 20, 2013 
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Why is MOMA as a 'partner' able to foist itself and interests into the public domain with zero input from the public? Canceling GG Conservancy membership - they touted it being about, well, 'Conservancy', preserving habitats, maintaining trails, etc., not displaying (8) transformer robots for a year!!!? Clearly they have enough money. I hope the swanky fundraiser in those nice white tents the other night was fun, the fancy food and music wonderful, and copious back-patting was spread to all deserving of thanks for this gift. 
Submitted by Keep it Natural on May 20, 2013 
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Too many of them... a few would have been reasonable, this looks like an army of unnatural twisted metal. Virtually all views of the bay are obstructed as you walk the length of Crissy Field. I saw people trying to find a spot to AVOID having them in a picture w/ the GG Bridge. Looks like majority are not into this YEARLONG takeover. 
Submitted by Anonymous on May 20, 2013 

 

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