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