The City of Berkeley last year paid artist Scott Donahue $196,000 to install two sculptural groups at either end of a new pedestrian bridge across the freeway on the city’s waterfront. The two installations (which you can see at the bottom of this post) mostly feature large human figures doing “typical Berkeley” activities. But, as noted in this Matier & Ross column, the artist recently added a series of small bronze bas-relief sculptures around the base of each statue. The new sculptures around the base of the westernmost statue depict, among other things, dogs going shit, fucking, and sniffing each other’s butts.

Matier & Ross wrote that the San Francisco Chronicle editors “blushed at the idea of publishing” photos of the dog sculptures, but I have no such compunction. As a public service, I decided to photograph each of the bas reliefs and publish them here, so the taxpayers of Berkeley (most of whom never use that pedestrian bridge) can know what they’re paying for. Here we see a photo showing all three of the bronze dog sculptures.

This is the “shitting dog” sculpture (illuminated this time with a camera flash, so the anal area is more clearly visible).

And here’s the one showing two dogs fucking.

And of course, the butt-sniffing.

When interviewed by Matier & Ross, Donohue said,

“I am showing dogs doing what dogs do at the dog park.” … Donahue says the west end sculpture simply depicts the natural and recreational activities at Berkeley’s waterfront, which includes a dog park.

“I am a realist,” Donahue said. “You can celebrate a place in both a serious and lighthearted way.”

You decide: Is this the best way to spend Berkeley’s taxpayer dollars?

Here’s the full sculptural group at the west end of the bridge. As you can see, the large figure shows kite-flyers, ducks, and a dog leaping for a Frisbee. The smaller bronze bas-reliefs depicted in the photos above can be seen on the right side of the tilted red base.

The other sculptural group at the east of the bridge show activities associated with the town of Berkeley itself, as opposed to just the waterfront park. Here we see screaming protesters holding signs, interspersed with scholars studying.

Around the base of this scultural group are other “typical Berkeley” activities, including “occupying” a grove of trees (note the small bronze figure in the branches at the lower left), an apparent reference to the Berkeley “tree-sitters.”

Another depicts the Berkeley “Critical Mass” bike-riding protest, in which bicyclists surround and harrass car drivers.

Donahue’s installation was already controversial for being visually incomprehensible to passing drivers, for whom it is intended. To motorists whizzing by on the freeway below, the sculptures — which are supposed to be an invitation to Berkeley — look like nothing more than a jagged mass of hard-to-decipher shapes.

95 Responses to “Berkeley taxpayers fund sculpture of dogs shitting, fucking, and butt-sniffing”

  1. 1Fenris on Feb 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm:

    On the bright side, at least he can’t be faulted for capturing Berkley accurately: visually incomprehensible to outsiders, angry screaming activists engaging in dangerous activities, lots of fucking…

    I have problems with taxpayer commissions for bad art, too; puts designers like myself at a disadvantage.

  2. 2Ken on Feb 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm:

    I’m not a Berekley taxpayer but I would have no problem with any of that if I was. Dogs shit, have sex, and sniff each other every day. What’s the big deal?

  3. 3gus3 on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm:

    They do a lot more than that. They bark at interlopers, they eat (if they didn’t, they wouldn’t shit), they sleep, they notice when we’re not feeling well, they save lives, they lead blind people across streets… In many ways, they show us how we should be behaving.

  4. 4Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm:

    Hey Ken, dogs shit and fuck but is it art?

  5. 5Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm:

    Attention Gus3, do not forget to lick your ass clean before bed time…..

  6. 6Macker on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:48 pm:

    zombie, I’m surprised this fellow didn’t also capture protesters copulating….

  7. 7mickey on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm:

    heh, c’mon, give ‘em a break, it’s san fran sisco, home of nancy the pelosi, bend ove and grab your ankles, heh, you might like it…

  8. 8Dianna on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm:

    Fenris, I have never been entirely sure how much sex actually occurs in Berkeley. Honestly.

    I do view the sculptures as…well, vulgar. Particularly for public art.

  9. 9Dianna on Feb 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm:

    #7 mickey

    No, it’s not.

    It’s Berzerkeley. Home of…students.

  10. 10mickey on Feb 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm:

    what’s the diff? whacked out individuals, and whacked out individuals in training, the poster children for what’s wrong with our democracy/republic. a pox on them all, woops…it’s already there.

  11. 11winston on Feb 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm:

    there r three places in the world I wont be willing to reside: Iran, Toronto, San Francisco.

  12. 12Brian on Feb 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm:

    Is there a more reliable indicator of the stupidity of an artist’s politics than the competence level of their take on “The Thinker?” This guy’s take (6th pic down, on the right) looks like Stuart Smalley. That means something.

  13. 13Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 7:34 pm:

    The best way to deal with places like Berkeley and the people who inhabit it is to shine a bright light upon them.

    The more people see sculptures like these and thereby learn about Berkeley and its cultural pathologies, the more of a joke the Berkeley types will become.

    I say keep right on making this kind of sculptures. It makes it that much harder for these turkeys to pretend to be something other than what they are: leftist assclowns.

  14. 14Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm:

    The real atrocity is the main sculptures. 200 grand for that ugly crap in a pointless location where almost nobody will see it anyway. I think the dog figures may have been added because the ‘artist’ became concerned that his art was not sufficiently unsettling to all the squares out there.

    Why aren’t the usual Berkely suspects up in arms about squandering that much dough on something useless when it could have, you know, helped “the people?” Could it be that the local ‘progressive’ community there is just a Disneyland ride for self-indulgent jerk-offs with tunnel vision?

    And speaking of animals fucking, who did Donahue have to sleep with to get this contract?

  15. 15Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:07 pm:

    Question: If, one day soon, we learn that terrorists have hijacked an airplane and plan to crash it into downtown Berkeley, what should we do?

    Answer: The only logical thing: set up aircraft beacons around city hall to make sure the plane doesn’t miss.

  16. 16Right Brain on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm:

    Its anti-art, which has the been the dominant form for about twenty years. Indicative of a lack of idealism.

  17. 17Stone K on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm:

    The article I read said that the original artist’s rendition showed plants and local wildlife was supposed to wrap around the base of the statues. But the artist now claims he does not recall those features.

    The guy is just being typical “Berkley”, Get money, do something stupid and pretend you didn’t know better.

  18. 18Dean on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:36 pm:

    Its all the “art” the residents deserve. Anything created at a higher level of sophistication would misrepresent the locals to outsiders. I like to think of the statues more as warnings than art, you could even recycle them one day as ideological tombstones.

  19. 19Ken Mitchell on Feb 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm:

    The problem with taxpayer-supported art is that it is inevitably BAD ART. The reason ought to be obvious; artists who can do good work won’t go through the hassle of public financing, and governments aren’t allowed to be “judgmental” about anything somebody calls “art”. So government art is bad by definition.

    I have no problem with the sculpture; I rarely visit Berkeley, and only because you can’t drive from Sacramento to San Francisco without going through. But I pity the Berkeley taxpayers who are forced to actually pay for this crap.

  20. 20Throbert McGee on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:02 pm:

    Is there a more reliable indicator of the stupidity of an artist’s politics than the competence level of their take on “The Thinker?” This guy’s take (6th pic down, on the right) looks like Stuart Smalley. That means something.

    My first reaction to that was “sunbather using a mirror to tan his face.”

  21. 21Clutch_1956 on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm:

    Our tax money goes to pay for this crap? (note, I am lucky enough NOT to live in the Peoples’ Republik of Kalifornia) Why are we having our tax dollars pay for something that no-one in their right mind would ever pay for? Can I (speaking for you sane folks in Kalifornia) get a deduction on my taxes for this nonsense?

    When are you gonna rise up and take your city back??? When are WE gonna rise up and take our COUNTRY back???

  22. 22average_guy on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:34 pm:

    #18 Dean:
    “recycled as ideological tombstones”….ROFL!!!

    keeping the carbon footprint minimal……

    I know I’ve said this before but I have to repeat myself; you are much appreciated.

    Really though, I guess folks like me from the Midwest need to realize that the 196K pricetag for this does not go as far in Cali as it does here, especially with the Green Sculpting Technique that I’m sure was mandated by state law to be employed in this case, plus the cost of materials.

  23. 23average_guy on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm:

    On closer examination, are those Budweiser Clydesdale hooves for the base of the sculpture?

  24. 24Alli on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm:

    IMHO, the question isn’t if dogs fucking and shitting is art but why the hell the government is paying for art in the first place.

  25. 25Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm:

    No doubt Obama and many other Americans do the same thing as the depicted dogs. Will we be getting scultures of them doing the same?

  26. 26Mitch Haase on Feb 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm:

    I don’t find the humor in this type of art the way I do with other humorous art.

    Also, for the record I just want to say that I am not gay in any way shape or form.

  27. 27Anonymous on Feb 14, 2009 at 10:24 pm:

    I’m a UC Berkeley alum. Have you seen the girls in Berkeley? Trust me–there’s no heterosexual sex going on there. I couldn’t wait to get out of there to meet up with some real, feminine ladies. I’m not gay either, but wtf does that have to do with bad art in Berkeley?

  28. 28average_guy on Feb 15, 2009 at 12:37 am:

    Oh I get it..this is HUMOROUS art!

    Now I understand.

    I guess if I was a true elite sophisticate I would have perceived that at the outset. Please disregard my irreverence.

  29. 29Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:17 am:

    fuck you, fenris. berkeley is a bastion of forward thinking. guess you got left behind shithead.

  30. 30BigPapa on Feb 15, 2009 at 5:05 am:

    Yes… ‘fuck you shithead, we are forward thinkers!’ Berkeley is the capitol of Narcissia, magnet of malcontents and Marxists mastering malfeasance and mitigating mastery of maintaining moderation.

    This art truly is Berkeley: why not people popping zits or picking their noses too? Why not statues of people doing drugs, homeless talking to them selves?

    Aloha Zombie, thanks for the reports and the laughs.

  31. 31laZardo on Feb 15, 2009 at 5:57 am:

    The tubes forming an empty square for the protest signs could be a symbol for how they like to protest just about…well…everything.

    Being one of those hormonal young twenty-something intarweb lurkers that enjoys crude laughs (the dog crapping reminded me of the infamous Goatse), I would recommend keeping the statue around, just for that purpose.

  32. 32Central Coast Guy on Feb 15, 2009 at 6:03 am:

    Funny thing about ‘progressives’, the things they talk about needing are only for ‘other people’. I have some neighbors who are big liberals, they even host political parties sometimes attended by real liberal politicians. They also have a classic car from the thirties (a real beauty). I was talking to them about the paint job on it…. but they are going to have it trucked to NY state for the paint job. I asked them why… well, it costs so much here in Calif (due to the environmental/labor laws here), it will save them 3k to have it trucked to NY and back.
    I asked them how that saves the environment… all the carbon that will be burned to do the trucking…. the transfer of pollution to ‘less enlightened’ areas, etc. Then they changed the subject to “the real issue is there’s just ‘too many’ people. If we had fewere people we’d not need to worry about each environmental issue as much.

    Arrrgggghhhh, the thing is, they’re nice enough people. Just hippocritical. But for the last decade almost, I have had to drive past their lawn decorated with huge anti-Bush signs.

  33. 33Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:08 am:

    Not shocked, amused, surprised, or upset. I expect nothing more from these wack jobs. Just keep it where it belongs…in Berzerkely-Durkeley Komifornia!

  34. 34Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:15 am:

    What? No depiction of the Folsom St activities in SF? I’m sure the folks in Berkley make the trip every year. Where’s the Mary Jane plant and the bong? Where’s the passed out squatters that reside in their park? What? No tribute to Timothy Leary and his LSD trips?
    This town is America’s outhouse!

  35. 35Kelly on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:21 am:

    This is to funny and a great representation of Burkeley. In fact, the dog art is to small, that should be the centerpiece rather than just an after thought stuck to the base of the statue.

  36. 36Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:30 am:

    Just a bunch of yoko onos!

  37. 37SenatorMark4 on Feb 15, 2009 at 8:07 am:

    Socialists funding crappy art is nothing new. It will continue on until people realize that crappy artists will fondle anything in government to get their vision funded. The people would never willingly purchase this doggy doo because they just aren’t enlightned enough. Never will be. Government funding implies, literally, that there is a shared copyright. When we formalize the shared copyright then those artistic looters of public funds like NPR and Moyers will step back from their demands because it will really be “PUBLIC” art then, not just publicly funded art for leftists to gather their obscene profit.

  38. 38BUBBA on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:03 am:


  39. 39Palaeomerus on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:26 am:

    Y’know….I don’t think this art is very flattering to Berkely. I’d almost guess that the artist was trying his best to give the whole community the bird by saying explicitly they are vulgar, dangerously clueless/stupid, rather ugly, rude, nonproductive, ineffectual, isolated in their own hazy canton of lunacy, and to boot, have really terrible taste in art. In short these statues testify that Berkely is an awful place full of awful people doing awful things in the name of awful ideals or at least awful motives.

    Sadly, it looks like the smartest town in the US somehow did not pick up on the criticism and signed his check anyway.

  40. 40Barkmor on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:34 am:

    29Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:17 am:
    “fuck you, fenris. berkeley is a bastion of forward thinking. guess you got left behind shithead.”

    …is berleley really the center of sophistication and class, the source of all that is right and just, or is it just another rectum doing what rectums doo doo?

  41. 41Julio Jurenito on Feb 15, 2009 at 10:24 am:

    Socialist realism at its best

  42. 42Mark on Feb 15, 2009 at 11:37 am:

    Why should I care if the Berkeley taxpayers want to have these statues? It’s their money.

  43. 43Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 11:41 am:

    It looks to me like this art has done exactly what art is supposed to do – elicit a gut reaction. It being Berkeley, the reaction of most posters here is probably exactly what many residents of Berkeley would want. But this set of sculptures has nothing on the $3 million frog tunnel of Davis. Yes, Davis, Berkeley’s poor country cousin, spent $3 million to build a tunnel under highway 80 so that frogs could go under instead of over. Complete with sculptures of “frogtown.”

  44. 44Spiny Norman on Feb 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm:

    Anonymous said:

    fuck you, fenris. berkeley is a bastion of forward thinking. guess you got left behind shithead.

    If by “forward thinking” you mean “mental masturbation”, then this public “art” is most appropriate.

  45. 45Fenris on Feb 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm:

    #42: I feel sorry for the more-level-headed Berkeley residents that didn’t want their money spent on this.

    A SOLUTION: As of 2005, 100,744 people live in Berkeley, 86,539 whom are over the age of 18. I’ll assume that everyone over 18 pays taxes, and thus contributed to the scupltures. That means that, given the $196,000 price tag, each taxpayer in the city paid $2.26. I’ll assume that 75% of the cost was labor, so that’s 57 cents per capita that went into the statue.

    Hence, whosoever objects to the forced funding of the art should chip off what is proportionally THEIR piece: 0.38 pounds of bronze, 28.25 pounds of concrete, 0.28 pounds of fiberglass, 4.1 pounds of steel, or 1.77 pounds of ceramic, each worth $2.26.

    Though personally I’d keep the angry screaming protestor intact. Not sure why.

  46. 46Rob on Feb 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm:

    I must disagree. Dogs doing unspeakable things are great symbols for Berekley.

  47. 47EZnSF on Feb 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm:

    Dogs shit. Berkeley has its head up its ass. Same thing.

  48. 48Ken on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm:

    “Hey Ken, dogs shit and fuck but is it art?”

    I dunno, I’m not an art expert. I do think it looks a bit stupid, but I have better things to do than worry about my two bucks (see post from Fenris above) being wasted on a bronze relief of a dog taking a dump.

    Now, if it was 100 bucks that would be something else. Or if the statue in question was something really vulgar. But, at worst, this is just childish bathroom humor. Let’s get on with our lives.

  49. 49Fenris on Feb 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm:

    #45: Correction: each of these measures is worth 57 cents each, not $2.26. Blargh.

  50. 50Spiff on Feb 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm:

    You people really are self absorbed buffoons. Looks like something from “The Thing”. Why not show people having anal sex and shooting drugs and all the other things folks do in your park?

  51. 51Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm:

    I notice there are no kids in the sculpture. Also the people in the protester sculpture all look as if they are over 60.

    Are they telling us that they are acting like kids? (Flying kites, playing Frisbee) Or that kids are not allowed in the park?

  52. 52Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm:

    This affront may well be the best reason, every, to own a 18Volt cordless sawsall with a masonry blade.

  53. 53Anonymous on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:03 pm:

    Imagine for a moment that the dogs are part of an illusionary metaphor for Berekley politicians

  54. 54Karridine on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:33 am:

    “Dogs do it every day… what’s wrong with (paying people tax money to DEPICT SUCH ACTIONS AS IF such depictions were art) that?”

    Well, such depictions are inappropriate in a public place, are inappropriate as expressions of art, are inappropriate as recipients of public monies, and are a sign of incremental, chronic materialistic and degrading actions some are taking against morally upright and conscientiously intelligent, informed Americans and others in America!

    Apart from the ‘sculpture’ being an example of ‘no sense of propriety or decency’, the morally retarded ‘person’ now strutting and bragging of his appalling lack of awareness of even a basic understanding of ‘PUBLIC’, ‘DECENCY’ or ‘Common Sense’, and disregarding the moral- bankruptcy proudly displayed by the moral midget hacking this trash out and SNEERING hypocritically at the very people who GAVE HIM $196,000 for some junk that cost $350 in materials and time, and looks like a high-school project thrown together by the Cerebral Palsy School for the Blind, why, there’s nothing wrong, but thanks for asking, #2 Ken…

  55. 55Karridine on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:40 am:

    And Paleomerus? GOOD ANALYSIS, I see you have gauged the character of the ‘artist’ well, revealing his disdain, his sardonic sneer and his statement of Berkeley’s manifest VULGARITY… well stated, Paleo! :D

    He probably IS making a statement about the foolish, tasteless, adolescent and self-centered denizens of Berkeley, and they’re too blind to see his blatant sneering, because they’re ASSURED of their own moral supremacy…

  56. 56Shooze Uerkan Raedet on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:55 am:

    This art is super groovy. I’m diggin’ it hella. The artist is a first-rate scam monkey. I’d like to get paid $196,000 to do some fun art of Berkeley turkeys.

  57. 57Lazlo on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:13 am:

    I like the analysis that only bad and lazy artists who cannot make money in the art market, whore themselves out to the Government. Unable to produce something that people will willingly purchase, they foist it on the public because the low level bureaucrats in charge of selecting such art have no visible standards, and will buy anything.
    Modern art (art these days) is not about producing something that is visually appealing, or something that captures the essence of ideas, nor even a study of the craft. It is about shocking the Rubes from the Provinces. It’s about the snarky self image of elitism that pervades modern academia. A candle only shines because of the darkness around it. Without those of us in the flyover states the snobs in Berkley would have no one to feel superior to, and their fun would be diminished.
    Oh well, we’ll keep civilization up and running for them in case they ever need a tooth filled, or perhaps the power goes out.

  58. 58Dotar Sojat on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:57 am:

    Memo to Berkely: Pretty much the rest of the country, outside of SF and the island of Manhattan, thinks you are a complete joke.

  59. 59Dime IV on Feb 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm:

    Not that dogs don’t publicly sniff ’round each other/defecate/copulate–but why not simply have a representation of a dog running/jumping/playing? Or does the typical Berkeley artist believe that the sine qua non of art is prurience or scatology?

    But perhaps the question I’m most compelled to ask: What self-respecting moonbat Berkeley artist hires himself/herself out to the government he or she so often claims to despise? I mean, that’s pretty much the hat-trick definition of a sell-out/prostitute/hypocrite, isn’t it?

  60. 60Dime IV on Feb 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm:

    Oh–I didn’t read Lazlo’s answer before I posted. Excellent and astute post, Lazlo.

  61. 61Lydia on Feb 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm:

    This is the ugliest sculpture I have ever seen, nevermind the content. Government-funded cultural decline! BARF.

  62. 62Befree on Feb 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm:

    I have to say that the chain-link fence complements this THING very good.. Why does liberal art always reminds me about the Stalin propaganda art back in the good old days?? Hmmm

  63. 63Ken on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm:

    “such depictions are inappropriate in a public place”

    Actual dogs having sex, shitting, or sniffing each other in public isn’t going to raise any eyebrows…but an “artistic” rendering of the very same behavior is somehow an affront to decency? Give me a break, please. That’s just stupid uber-moralizing from someone who is looking for something to be offended about.

    What’s the issue here? That a sculpture of a dog taking a shit is offensive? I take shits, so do you, so do dogs. How in the world does a sculpture of a dog shitting qualify as a violation of public decency when real dogs take real shits in public every day and that doesn’t rile people up with stupid polemics about “public decency?”

    Or is the issue that this sculpture qualifies as bad art? If that’s the case, please tell me what diagnostic you’re using to determine what is “bad art” and what is “good art.” Who is qualified to choose which is which?

    Or is it that you feel this sculpture was a waste of money? Maybe it was, but, as Fenris pointed out, the actual amount of money you may have paid in is pititfully miniscule. If you want it back then go dig under your couch cushions.

    This issue could be taken care of with that magical sentence that can solve 95% of stupid arguments like this one: “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”

  64. 64Nadadhimmi on Feb 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm:

    This is a perfect example of what happens when there is a complete breakdown in societal mores, values and standards. California liberals have lead a once great State into complete decay. That state is a 3rd world shithole run by a greedy fucking forgiener with no interest or knowledge in American Culture. The queers, mexicans and hippies have ruined that place like they want to ruin the whole country. I think there will be a street fight for the future of America precipitated by this recession turned into a Depression by Pelosi, Dodd, Fwank, Reid and of course the new God on Earth, Obama. Oh yes, there will be blood in the streets and the conservatives are armed unlike the liberals. It will get REALLY NASTY, for a few months with thousands of deaths, maybe hundreds of thousands as true Americans fight the destruction of the country and defend the Constitution from it’s domestic enemies.

  65. 65Anonymous on Feb 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm:

    Ken, that was awesome! Bravo! Seems like a lot of hub-hub over nothing. First, Zombie says the walk isn’t used much and the people who do walk by, how many actually notice the dog figures? Seems like you have to get up to it and look up to see them. You certainly can’t see them driving by as you can hardly see what the statue is. Seems like it would be better “appreciated” in a park where you can see the figures, you know at the top. What about a dog park! Move the statue. Problem solved.

    I got a chuckle thinking about an elderly tourist couple posing for a picture. “Wait! Mildred! Did you see this?!”

    I think it’s funny. I guess I’m a party Pooper lol

  66. 66Simperin' Fool on Feb 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm:

    I really have to agree that this really isn’t something that should be taken seriously. I wouldn’t call it immoral, either, but it’s certainly tasteless, juvenile, and inane. I wouldn’t be against tearing it down simply on the grounds that it’s so damn ugly, but beyond that, whatever.

  67. 67Anonymous on Feb 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm:

    Hard to know if those who have made it this far will care but I can state with certainty that the sculptor lost money on this project after paying for materials, labor, attorney’s fees and engineering to satisfy CalTrans. You can accuse him of being a poor businessman and I won’t argue, but he was forced to go through a number of redesigns to satisfy state engineers while the price of steel rocketed. None of you has any idea how tough it is to pass the scrutiny of bureaucrats while trying to make durable art. The aesthetics and meaning you can debate all you want. Just don’t assume someone was pulling a fast one on the public dime.

  68. 68Anonymous on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm:

    whoever said:

    Oh well, we’ll keep civilization up and running for them in case they ever need a tooth filled, or perhaps the power goes out.

    has clearly never been to the bay area. we have TONS of dentists.

    bad art, big deal. it hardly begs the conservative nutjobs to come stick “K”s on everything and declare bloody war.

  69. 69Ringo the Gringo on Feb 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm:

    I think the sculpture is perfect….for Berkeley.

  70. 70Whut??? on Feb 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm:

  71. 71DangerousNate on Feb 18, 2009 at 6:50 am:

    It’s sad that artists have sunk to the low of this and it’s sad that people actually paid money for that crap.

  72. 72Anonymous on Feb 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm:

    for that one fuckwad that got all the money for that lame shit just for knowing or fucking somebody, there are probably a thousand artists a thousand times better than him who are broke. 200,000 is a lot! That is 4 years of work at a very good wage, 50K/year. Maybe the fuckwad will buy some real and decent art to decorate his place at a much better price than that…lol. I can’t see anyone, not even him, wanting art like that in their home, unless it might be in the toilet room as a joke.

  73. 73average_guy on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:37 pm:


    If you’re going to be a Moby you should try to be a litte more subtle….

  74. 74MikalM on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:11 am:

    How many potholes will $198,000 fix?

  75. 75A Random Berkeley Resident on Feb 21, 2009 at 6:50 am:

    You Berkeley haters have way too much time on your hands. Why don’t you stop being assholes and do something useful with your time? At least Berkeley has controversy and culture. What do you have? Corn fields and close mindedness?

  76. 76Spiff on Feb 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm:

    You sum up what you represent PERFECTLY.

  77. 77Fenris on Feb 23, 2009 at 10:09 am:

    75: Love the “cornfields” remark. I didn’t know that stereotyping was open-minded.

  78. 78TNC on Feb 25, 2009 at 7:09 am:

    Saying SF and Berkeley are the same is like saying Manhattan and Queens are the same because they are both part of NYC.

    There are some pretty big differences between SF and Berkeley. Yes, both are majority Caucasian, liberal and fairly well-off but SF is much more urban. Berkeley is towny. The economy of Berkeley is dominated by the University while SF has a much more diverse economy: tourism, banking, education, state/fed govt offices, museums, the arts, etc.

    As to which place is more kooky (or kook filled) at one time I would have said SF. In the 1980s, definitely SF. The place was filled with bums, freaks and assorted losers. By the early 1990s things started to change and by time the development started towards the middle/end of the decade the city seemed like a different place. Berkeley has not changed as much. Peoples Park and Telegraph Ave look the same (plenty of bums and dope fiends).

    But if you have never been, there are some pretty nice neighborhoods in Berkeley. The area around Tilden Park is beautiful and you get some fantastic views of SF and the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, etc. from up in the hills.

    There are many worse places to live in the U.S., even taking the bums into consideration.

  79. 79Anonymous on May 3, 2009 at 7:52 pm:

    Communist shitholes deserve communits shitholes.

  80. 80Bryan on May 21, 2009 at 9:05 am:

    Other than being taxpayer funded, I have only 2 problems with this “art”. The dogs fucking are so poorly done; the observer lacks any ability to capture excitement, passion, or even movement. Also the artist claims to be a realist, yet we see no representation of muggers, mugging victims, clandestine human sex, recreational drug use, or even litterbugs. This is mediocre at best, but what can you expect for public art.

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  82. 82Yournextbestfriend on Sep 10, 2009 at 7:51 pm:

    Lol, I had to stop reading because it was starting to hurt from smiling at all this. It amuses me to see people sit at there PC and coplaine that people are so rude to post such picks but listen to your post, every other word is classified as a bad one, yet as grown adults you all feel the need to swear, lol. As a artist my self, I find the mans work to be the mans work and he got paid for it. I dont care for his work on this project, but I wouldnt disrespect his work by calling it trash. I see people spend $30,000+ and even thats way high on a car or truck, why you can by a great used car and get just as far as the new one. The point I am making is you all see things as a self judgment, how you would have spent or done some thing diffrent, but if you was the artist would you not be happy to have gotten paid for your work, being the Mona Lisa, or a copper dog humping another dog. Its funny art, that depicts any thing you want it to be, thats why its called art, to get you to feel some thing, and even thoe it seems to stir negitive energy it still seems to be working you all have gotton to gather to discuss the mans work, so in my own thoughts awsome job. If any one that feels they have better skills or a diffrent eye for the arts I hope to see your work out there one day, but it was that mans day.

  83. 83شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 10:20 am:

    Other than being taxpayer funded, I have only 2 problems with this “art”. The dogs fucking are so poorly done; the observer lacks any ability to capture excitement, passion, or even movement. Also the artist claims to be a realist, yet we see no representation of muggers, mugging victims, clandestine human sex, recreational drug use, or even litterbugs. This is mediocre at best, but what can you expect for public art.

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  93. 93Yop on Oct 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm:

    I grew up in Berkeley in the late 1960s and 1970s and I have been dismayed to see it increasingly become a more and more white, upper middle class, liberal in stated values but not in hyper materialist lifestyle, NIMBY enclave.

    It’s sad, almost no one I knew as a kid could afford to live there now. Houses once owned by teachers and small local business owners are now occupied by financial industry insiders, lawyers, and dotcom snobs.

    So I’m glad to see that Berkeley still has a little bit of its eccentric character. Dogs do sniff each others butts. It’s true. And I think we need art to remind us that its beautiful. Now if only Wavy Gravy would run for city council again.

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