We wish Alexander could remember to pick up his toys. . . . More
The Flamingo turned a fantastic color during a rally Wednesday.
It was great weather for a protest, mild and clear. The rally began in the afternoon, my old office window rattling from all the noise. It was still going on as commuters began pouring into the streets at 5.
The rally was in support of charter schools, but most passersby really had no idea, or took it for just another teachers’ rally. There are so many protests in the Loop, and lots of agitation about the schools.
Click image to enlarge.
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.
Are you feeling the squeeze?
Is it a bird, or a plane, or Christmas coming at us, tied up in a bow?
Alexander Calder’s Flamingo, newly refurbished, lets Celia know, it’s not just December, it’s Chicago.
Hulking yet cheering, it jolts the black-and-white geometry of the modern city, its red curving energy infusing an ordinary scene.
Alexander Calder’s Flamingo has been undergoing renovation, shrouded in scaffolding and a boxy shell of plastic wrap for many weeks. Finally, the wrappings came off, revealing its newly resplendent glory. I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the flamingo in its “vanishing habitat.”