After spending three hours reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman in a public library on Friday afternoon, I ran into the most marvelous sculpture on display while taking a stroll through West Hollywood Park. The shiny, white sculpture was based on two popular and beloved comic book superheroes, Batman and Superman. Batman was reclining backwards with his left arm stretched out in the same manner as Adam in Michelangelo's fresco “The Creation of Adam” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Above him, a transitioning Clark Kent with his arms ripping his button-down shirt open to expose the large “S” across his chest on his smooth and chiseled physique. The metal plaque affixed to the upper left corner of the base of the statue read “MODERN HEROES”.
The subject matter of Modern Heroes stopped me in my tracks for a number of reasons. First, it was a public art piece that showcased comic book characters. Secondly, the homoerotic overtones and expressions exchanged between the two men hearkens back to the days of the Italian Renaissance when sensualized marble sculpture was more common (e.g. Donatello's David). For anyone unfamiliar with Los Angeles neighborhoods, West Hollywood is generally the “Boy's Town” sector, so it would be fitting for two male superheroes to be on display. It turns out that this sculpture was previously displayed in Rome in 2011 and in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris in 2013! “Modern Heroes” has been in Los Angeles since June 2015 and will stay up until the end of the year. It is an interesting landmark to see if you visit the LA area sometime this year.
Immediately after snapping a picture of the sculpture, I chuckled and said to myself, “Only in Los Angeles” before walking up San Vicente Boulevard to the nearest Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Nov. 9, 2015
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