Be the first to vote…
ldewey's picture


Ah, public art. Rhymes with public fart but is way less embarrassing.

Over the last few decades, the city of San Francisco has blossomed into the unofficial queen of public art. It’s all thanks to hot-shot investment banker Sydney G. Walton, who led the push for a 1985 planning code that required all new construction in the downtown district to set aside funding for a couple of fancy sculptures. Walton’s own sculptural tastes tended to favor massive and decidedly phallic obelisks, perhaps to make up for his own (ahem) inadequacies.

But Charles Perry’s Icosaspirale is not even remotely phallic, which in our opinion makes it doubly impressive. The sculpture is named for its geometric shape, the Icosahedron-- a super ~~edgy~~ 20 sided, 30 edged, and 12 vertice behemoth. It looks kinda like it would eat you if it got the chance, but there’s a softer side in its spiraled innards. Can we call her Beatrice?

Beatrice found her home at One Maritime Plaza, where bankers (sorry, “people who work in finance”) and homeless people like to convene-- separately-- for their mid-afternoon strolls. Dogs like to pee on Beatrice’s pedestal, but she doesn’t mind. For all her steely posturing, Beatrice likes to think of herself as something of a peacekeeper in the plaza. All she needs is a pair of googly eyes and her neighboring sculptures will fall head over heels. We personally think the soft lines of Henry Moore’s Standing Figure Knife Edged would be a perfect match for Beatrice’s pointier personality. So romantic.


srussell's picture


This Charles Perry work gets it's title from the name of the shape the welded-together rods make -- a huge Icosahedron.

If you weren’t paying attention in geometry class, that means a polyhedron with 20 triangular faces, 30 edges and 12 vertices (where is Sheldon Cooper when you need him!). The inside of the structure looks like the chop shop from the movie "Robots", with lots of sharp edges ready to chop chop chop.

Or you could see it as a super trippy tribute to falling through a drug-induced time warp spiral...which might be apt for free spirited San Franciscans.