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News and Information for the Ishmael Community

Found 1 entries.

Added: Friday, July 27, 2012

Defacing an artist's work is not an appropriate way to share ISHMAEL!

The message "Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn" does not belong scrawled in large letters across the walk-through steel sculpture by noted artist Richard Serra that is part of the Outdoor Sculpture Collection of Western Washington University in Bellingham. No matter how much any reader is moved and motivated after having read Ishmael, there is no excuse for this kind of defacement of any artist's work. Apart from that, the person who wrote us about this said that seeing this message on the sculpture assured that he would never, ever read the book.

Daniel has written to the appropriate people at the University expressing his dismay at this outrageous behavior, saying that "it leaves me sickened and deeply shamed," and that "this shabby graffito will shadow my memory for a long time to come, but I sincerely hope it can be removed from Mr. Serra's sculpture without permanent damage."

This misuse of graffiti is especially galling because Ishmael was a chosen "Book of the Quarter" at the university a number of years ago and may still be in use in courses there. There is a place for graffiti artists to exercise their skill and create meaningful public art. But there is no place for defacement of an already meaningful piece of art. You can see Richard Serra's sculpture, Wright's Triangle, at Western Gallery. –Rennie Quinn

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