If Calder could know how much pleasure his sculpture gives, he’d be happy.
It’s quite poorly named. The thing, in most lights, has few of the flamingo’s qualities. With its squat, heavy base and monumental scale it more resembles an aardvark, or perhaps an anteater. And the red makes one think of the Fire and a phoenix. (Will Chicago rise from the difficulties consuming it now?)
Notwithstanding its name, the Flamingo makes a delightful frame. It grabs your attention and holds it, prevailing against the tall bland buildings dwarfing it on all sides. Its massive curves and primary red blast away at its surroundings—at the universe—, forcing you to take it into account in some way.
So, yes, when leaving the post office on a rainy day, I did have stop and take this picture, and consider the red bleeding into the puddles, like the fantasy land that Bert drew on the sidewalk in Mary Poppins.