I’ve been long fascinated by public art. I love the concept of making something that will hopefully be seen by the future generations, the ability to make something that compliments the environment in a playful way and that public art is free for everyone to see.
One of my favorite pieces are by Amos Robinson. I love all of his works and hugely admire his talent. “My bike” is the first work of Amos’s that I came across and I fell in love with the idea and this kinetic sculpture.
I love this carefree bicyclist that cruises on Tidelands Park, Coronado, CA. I can imagine him whistling a song, while he enjoys the sun and the breeze in his face and I love how the wheels spin with the wind.
Amos’s skills with metal and mechanics come from a field unusual to an artist – he spent many years collecting and restoring old sports cars and motorcycles and his 30 year career in large-scale air pollution process equipment laid foundation for his artworks.
“Bring the metal to life. This is my mantra as an artist.” Amos Robinson
Amos tells an interesting story of when he had his ‘aha’ moment:
In 1964 while visiting our grandparents in New York City, my brothers and I were taken to the Calder exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. To that point, whenever we entered a gallery, museum or antique shop, the words we heard were, “Boys, put your hands in your pockets and do not touch anything.”
Then came the Calder exhibit. As I stood before one of Calder’s sculptures, the docent said to me, “Go ahead, son, make it move; bring it to life.”
The docent’s invitation was both a delight and a revelation. In that moment the world of art expanded to include more than objects hanging on walls or sitting on shelves gathering dust and admiration.
That’s where it started for me as an artist. Bring the metal to life.
I also love what Amos told Pacific San Diego about “My Bike” because I think it goes well with the theme of One Happy Blog and the way I feel about art:
Amos Robinson knows about the impact public art can have. A local metal sculptor—he is a featured artist at this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy—Robinson was relaxing at home with his wife one Sunday when a woman visiting from Washington called.
“She was down at the (San Diego) Embarcadero with her girlfriends, and they called just to say how much they appreciated my work there. It’s stuff like that that makes me a big fan of public art and what it can do,” Robinson says.
The women were viewing “My Bike,” which depicts a bicyclist in mid-air, strands of stainless steel hair flying back in the San Diego Bay breeze. It’s one of five sculptures Robinson has created for the Port of San Diego’s rotating “Urban Trees” installation. Now in its seventh year, the annual exhibit includes 30 commissioned tree interpretations along Harbor Drive, from Hawthorn Street to the Cruise Ship Terminal.
“I want to bring something to the public that is positive,” says Robinson, a self-taught artist and former designer of industrial air pollution control equipment. “I don’t care for dark art; I want my art to be fun, put a smile on your face or bring back a memory from your youth.”
If you want to take a Public Art Walking Tour in Coronado, here’s the guide.