Thursday, February 23 , 2017, 6:03 am | Fair 45º


She Said, Z Said: Plinth Schminth, and a Statue with Limitations

When mall art rises to the level of phallic symbols, is it still a pedestrian display?

Z: Why is there a giant new phallic statue in Paseo Nuevo?

She: I have no idea what you’re talking about. All I saw was a ginormous Christmas Tree. You must have a dirty mind, honey. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Z: And in this case, a giant phallic statue is just a giant phallic statue. Or, if you’d rather, a giant, round plinth with a crown on top. Tomato tomahto.

She: I just looked. You’re right. That’s one giant phallic symbol in the middle of Paseo Nuevo. And I kind of doubt that’s a holiday symbol.

Z: Do you think they’ll change the name to Phalleo Nuevo?

She: Sounds like the prelude to a fabulous City Council meeting.

Z: I’d even put my good citizen hat on for that one.

She: I did see a sign saying the statue’s not complete, yet. They’re going to add an angel to the top of it.

Z: Ohh, I get it now. They’re going for some sort of edgy twist on “counting the angels on the head of a pin.” That seems an odd choice for a shopping mall.

She: Not that I have anything against giant phallic symbols, but I wonder what was wrong with the previous fountain and courtyard?

Z: Not enough phalluses. Phalli?

She: I liked that old courtyard. The arch was lovely. It looked like a rising, blue-tiled wave with a porthole.

Z: It was also a great place for our child to climb up on and fall off of. He’s going to need pitons and carabiners to scale the phallus.

She: I’m not entirely sold on the new shape of the courtyard, either. It’s got a weird angle at one side now, instead of a nice smooth horseshoe. It’s almost as though they’re trying to discourage children from running straight around it.

Z: It’s like the Soviet Union or something.

She: I guess you don’t have to “get” art to see the value in it. What’s the value in it?

Z: Well, I do like that we finally have some controversial pubic art. Pianos on State hasn’t annoyed anyone, except maybe the occasional shopkeeper who has to listen to “Chopsticks” all day.

She: True. I think the last good public art controversy was Colin Gray’s “W” upside down McDonald’s logo of 2006.

(sagehillmpegs video)

Z: That was a Whopper. I think we should stir up some trouble and start a group that’s opposed to the new plinth. We could call ourselves Phallus Malice.

She: You’re the only person who finds that amusing.

Z: Which is bad why?

She: Just don’t start with the chalice from the palace or we’ll be in a Monty Python skit before we know it.

Z: Which would be freaking awesome. Don’t try to deny me that.

She: I wouldn’t dare. Although I just looked it up and it’s from a Danny Kaye movie, The Court Jester.

Z: As a longtime fan of the brew that is true, I could have told you that — but I was too busy pondering the plinth that makes me grinth.

She: On the plus side for the artist, if the only criticism he receives is from two idiots who love bad word play, then keep building them giant phallic symbols.

Z: Honestly, who cares? I love the new statue/plinth/giant-phallic-thingy. I see nothing but decades of jokes in our future mall visits. Best Black Friday ever.

She: Yes, dear.

— Want to make a point about public art? Share it with She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow She and Z on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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