Max Gets His Art On

All noble and famous folk but nowhere to add a Malt.

All noble and famous folk but nowhere to add a Malt.

Did you ever stop and consider that public art would be much improved by the addition of a Maltese dog?

Me neither.

But that didn’t stop us from running around the financial and government districts and blending the small white dog into some of our favorite sculptures.

Ever since

Ever since the “Aloha from Hawaii” concert in 1973 (I was there!) we have had a statewide obsession with The King.

We eschewed the more common statues in search of lesser known pieces of art.

No, I am not referring to the full size depiction of Elvis at our main arena, Blaisdell Center. I’m not referring to the usual collection of noble personages whose visages have been preserved around town.

We decided we would actually insert Mr. Max into the scene rather than just taking static photos of him alongside the art.

Max says,

Max says, “Nice kids but a little stiff.”

With Mom & dad 2

Max says, “You’ll pay for this.”

So we first have him at the Department of Transportation building leading a family into the future.The kids relied on his keen sense of direction. As for the parents, they don’t mind him, uh, hanging around.

On Bishop Street, the Wall Street of Honolulu, is a much beloved statue of a guy in aloha wear sitting at the bus stop reading the paper while three little mice perch on his left shoulder.

Max was ready to settle in and wait for the next bus out of town.

Max was ready to settle in and wait for the next bus out of town.

Titled “What’s Next?”, it’s a very realistic scene. Even years after installation, new bus drivers stop, thinking he is a fare, then close the doors in irritation when they realize he’s a statue. He has a cult following and passers-by put food, lei, newspapers, pennies and cigarettes on or around him.

Note the three mice on his left shoulder and the big rat standing behind wearing sunglasses.

Note the three mice on his left shoulder and the big, bearded  rat standing behind and wearing sunglasses.

As the now defunct Honolulu Advertiser noted in 2002: embedded in his aloha shirt are actual headlines from the daily papers such as “Moon Men Warmest Welcome from Hawaii,” “Rapid Transit Streetcar Track in Kapiolani Park,” “First Airplane Ride Flight in Hawaii,” “Hokulea Sails to Tahiti.”

“Guess what I left behind on this guy’s paper, Dad?”

All are rendered from the printing plates of the millennium issues of local newspapers. Sculptor Jodi Endicott pressed the plates, or rubber stamps made from the plates, into the concrete or onto pieces of clay that were set into the concrete. One headline, reading “U.H. Lab Clones Mice in Major Scientific Step,” is impressed beside the aforementioned brass mice resting on the man’s shoulder.

Max experiencing the finer points of equine digestion.

Max experiencing the finer points of equine digestion.

Across the street, in front of the First Hawaiian Bank Tower (the tallest building in the state) are a couple of horses who apparently succeeded all too well at Jenny Craig. The emaciated equine looked so sad that we fed him a Maltese. “In the belly of the beast” took on a whole new meaning. The Pupsicle was not amused.

Exploring the grounds at the Hawaii State Library.

Exploring the grounds at the Hawaii State Library.

A little further along, we stopped by the Hawaii State Library, a lovely building on spacious grounds dominated by massive monkeypod trees. While Max pondered if the big tress were suitable as a leg-lifting location, we captured him in a two-piece modern art sculpture entitled Parents and a Young Woman.

“Parent and a Young Woman”, Yeah, right. How about “Hole in Statue With Maltese Dog Stuck Inside”?

Max and I examined this piece of work from several angles and from inside out and have determined it is beyond our limited comprehension. “Large Pieces Of Bronze With A Hole In The Middle” would have been my title.

Let freedom ring. Let the wild Malt sing. Let today be known as a day of reckoning.

Let freedom ring. Let the wild Malt sing. Let today be known as a day of reckoning.

By now the Flufferpup was getting antsy so we stopped for a final shot of him sitting under the Liberty Bell. Well, the Aloha Bell, our version of the famous Philadelphia landmark.

In compensation for what he considered dog abuse, we went to Petco where we promised him a treat, but only if he could balance it on his nose.

Now that’s what I call art.

The Pupperoni thinks this balancing trick is getting out of hand.

The Pupperoni thinks this balancing trick is getting out of hand.

31 replies

  1. Singlehandedly – unless your lady wife assisted you – you are responsible for Max’s views on art resembling those of Hermann Goering on culture…..just make sure Max doesn’t have access to a revolver.

    Had he not been hoisted inside a Trojan Horse which, from the paucity of material one can only assume to have been made in recessionary times, made to peer through a hole evidently intended for gurning competitions and hoisted precariously on the shoulders of figures frozen in time in their search for a fast food outlet he might have opted for a career as an art critic, enjoying the facilities of Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, taking a slice from one of Damien Hirst’s pickled meats, and being bribed by Saatchi to write favourable reviews of his other protegees.

    As it is, he is more likely – to judge by the expression – to deliver himself of the unattributed quote common to the more philistine of my contemporaries…
    Art? Fart!.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your critique, Ms. Devries. I turned to that new Jurassic series book from Michael Crichton “The Thesaurus That Ate Honolulu” to decipher the bigger words. As near as I can figure, you have again taken the side of the Malt and are defending him against the well-intentioned depredations of his human entourage. Unacceptable.

      Max takes his art literally. For example, he wonders why no one sat on the other side of the table at The Last Supper. He reminded me of the guy who hung himself at the Museum of Modern Art and it took three weeks before anyone noticed. Here’s Max’s favorite art joke:

      Salvador Dali walks into a fish and orders a pint of postage stamps. The bar keep asks, “Why the bicycle wheel and watches?”

      Sorry, Helen, but you brought these upon yourself.

      snorf, snorf


  2. I’m certain Max wasn’t happy about this method of immersion into culture. Max has grounds to make you watch “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” six times in a row, that will culture you up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Six viewings of that show will either culture you up or kill you and if it kills you, you’ll probably go with a big smile on your face and a profound sense of gratitude in your heart.


  3. Max had quite a day running with statues, riding on their shoulders (BTW – those two figures seem to have sprouted an extra pair of legs each) poking through bellies, sitting under bells, lying in the horse’s belly – I bet the balancing act was the only one of real interest to him.Elvis in 1973 *Mom swoons* must have been HOT!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! You were not supposed to see the extra set of legs and other body parts behind the statues. But do you have any idea how hard a 16 pound Malt can resist being placed in a horse’s stomach? No, you probably don’t. The question has probably never come up. Well, the answer is that the Furnugget can be mighty strong and those claws are sharp.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I shouldn’t have *face palm moment experienced* – next time I’ll refrain from seeing what should not be seen.


  4. Virginia Max has the habit of lifting his leg in criticism of various art projects installed along the James River. Thus he has been relegated to the river trails and not the canal walk. The Big Bearded Rat did a fine job on this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Flufferpup is quite the cultured pooch. Better the Liberty Bell than the Taco Bell. What a life he lives! It’s usually horse meat inside a dog’s belly, but you turned it on its head. So bold! So artistic! Not even Max could make “Parents and a Dung Woman” look interesting. He looks so happy in the lap of Bus Man. Nice pictures, all around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tried to set up a collage of Max passing through the digestive system of the horse. I was going to add a constipation photo to the collage where Max gets stuck in the upper bowel but the AJF drew the line at that idea. A guy would have liked the idea and would probably have added a beer can for scale but women…sheesh…they can be sensitive sometimes, especially when in public. Max did take a liking to Bus Man. The newspaper made for a nice flat surface sadly lacking in the other statues.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lady is offering to share her kennel with Max and save him from the huge bearded rat but Bilbo got wind of it and has set up a canine barricade in protest. He said that allowing one dog to move into HIS backyard was enough. No more dogs allowed!!
    I was recently photographing an old, dilapidated dinghy at Palm Beach and another walker asked me what it was doing there. I said I didn’t know but not long after that both dogs pissed on it so I gather that must be it’s purpose in life now.

    Liked by 1 person

      • He’d give an award winning performance, I’m sure. I take the dogs with us to drop the kids off at school and when they get out of the car, Bilbo starts barking and it goes on for a good ten minutes. My daughter gets very embarrassed!!! Wants to disassociate with the crazy mutt.


  7. It’s fairly obvious to me that most things are improved by the presence of a white dog – preferably a Great Pyrenees, but Max still has time to grow! 😉

    Your photos made me smile. I think you’d have put your back out trying to lift me into some of those places!


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