So this past April I went to Paris to run a marathon and visit some family. Some of you may have seen pictures from the streets of Paris; there is artwork in just about everything. There are also many grand water fountains in some of the bigger square around Paris. I had stopped in an area known as Le Fountaine Saint-Michel which gained fame during the French Revolution. As I walked around taking in the sights and sounds I happened upon a drinking fountain that looked out of the ordinary.
The odd shape was the first thing that caught my eye and the grating at the base gave away the fact that it was a drinking fountain but not an ordinary one. The curves at the base swept up toward the spout and the curves above the spout were all parallel to the ground, so at first glance I thought it was a corkscrew type of shape. The color is flat grey and closely matches the ground. As I went around the fountain, the actual outline appeared, it was a woman with a spout of water coming from her extended hand. As the outline sweeps around it transforms from what looks to be a woman just standing in a square people watching, to someone offering every passerby a fresh drink of water. The lines around the top are the portrait of a face which seems to be looking back and forth at the people walking around and meeting, taking pictures, or just sightseeing. I know nothing about the artist and I wish I had taken a picture of the other profile so that I could show the shape change more completely.
The thing I liked the most was, that in a city brimming with classical forms of art and a famous fountain just across the street this modern piece seemed stand out even though it blended in with the surrounding sidewalk. It offered up a drink to all without question as to who they are, where they are from, what their beliefs or politics are, what their gender or age is, as Paris is full of tourist from all over the world. I know nothing of the artist nor have I seen any pieces in class that are similar to this one. There was nothing about this piece that I did not like but, there was a trash bin just a few meters away from it that did distract the eye, but that is typical of Paris.
- Why the color grey?
- Is the way the spout rises up from the main body a symbol of offering.
- Why just a 90 degree rotation?