The fun thing about art is its subjectivity. Viewers instinctively have an opinion whether to like it or understand it or not. When perusing the most bizarre statues or public art works in DFW keep in mind that bizarre is not necessarily negative, but rather something out of the ordinary. These are most definitely exactly that.
111 Monroe St.
Fort Worth, TX 76104The Zipper Mural created in 1974 by Fort Worth artist Stuart Gentling is still eye-catching. A gigantic, slightly opened, horizontal zipper painted along the side of the former Dickies clothes manufacturing company in Fort Worth is now a curiosity. After years of wear, the exposed clouds from the partially unzipped “pants” became too weathered and needed repair. Unfortunately Gentling died before the project was completed and the mural restoration workmanship was sub par. Instead of redoing the clouds, it was decided exposing a white feather to honor the artist (who was a master at painting birds) would be a stronger solution. The feather is left up to viewers’ imaginations of why it is floating in an unzipped blue sky.
1837 Corinth St.
Dallas, TX 75215Close to the historic South Side on Lamar lofts in the old Sears building are the Herschel Weisfeld’s CorinthPark warehouse buildings that were converted into artist’s lofts, studios and apartments. Weisfeld is a strong supporter of the arts and preservation of historic buildings. Murals painted on the outside of the CorinthPark building are interesting examples of street art and freedom of expression. One of the most entertaining works is a painting of a giant peacock wearing fishnet hose and cruel high heels. The bird is proudly displayed in the back alley along with other stream-of-consciousness graffiti.
DFW Airport Art
Terminal D and Skylink train stations
Dallas, TX 75201The DFW Airport multimillion-dollar public art project contracted 30 local, regional and national artists to design work throughout Terminal D and Skylink train stations. Most of the artwork is colorful, fun and designed to get your mind off of missed flights, cramped seats and creatively small carry-on baggage stuffed to bursting. One happily bizarre 16-foot-high sculpture entitled “Standing Ovation” looks like a giant triple-decked ice cream cone with two scoops of vanilla and one dip of red velvet cake flavor on top. It is made up of hundreds of clapping hands from persons of all ages and backgrounds. Created by Fort Worth artist Anitra Blayton, it is a nod to accolades and positive recognition. After the eye opening viral hit commencement speech “You’re not special” from David McCullough Jr., this pat on the back may be just what weary travelers need whether merited or not.
300 RadioShack Circle
Fort Worth, TX 76102Oversized everyday objects is not a new art concept, but there are an array of artists like Jeff Koons who are still making the ordinary extraordinary. “Radiating Energy,” a 2004 sculpture by Jonathan Seliger found at the Radio Shack campus, features enlarged versions of ordinary batteries. The huge standard 9-volt batteries designed in a circular pattern may someday become a future curiosity like Stonehenge. Scientists may wonder why they are placed in a certain order and if they align with the stars. Children in particular may find this art intriguing as it is a new concept for them. It is a good place to visit for larger-than-life photographs or when you need your batteries recharged.
Fort Worth Stockyards
130 E. Exchange Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76164The Fort Worth Stockyards is a delightful place filled with good restaurants and talented street musicians, giving it an authentic Western flavor along with its history. However the bronze Statue of Quanah Parker standing next to a parking lot near the Hyatt Hotel is an unusual public works piece that was grandfathered into the program. The idea of recognizing Chief Quanah Parker is noble as he was “the son of two cultures,” but the artwork is static and seems out of place where it is positioned. The historic marker and dedication plaque are huge, dwarfing the bronze artwork.
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Bishop Arts District
North Bishop Ave. & W. Davis St.
Dallas, TX 75208The Bishop Arts District is an unique place to shop, find one of a kind items, dine or kick back and enjoy the historic district of Oak Cliff in the south part of Dallas. Five years ago, a grant became available to fund a public works art for the area. Artist Art Garcia’s submission won and became an intriguing piece of sculpture named “Seventh.” It resembles a large, bright red quarter piece of streetcar wheel supported by concrete. To most, it is a symbol of bygone years with a modern twist. Based on the Bishop Arts District’s streetcars that were built in 1903, The 7th Belmont line took blue-collar workers from Oak Cliff to their jobs in Dallas.