Friday, September 5, 2014

Greg Brown, RIP

Palo Alto, where I have now lived for more than 20 years, must have the most atrocious public art of any affluent town in the country. I could go into a number of specific examples, but why dwell on the incompetence of our Public Art Commission? Accentuate the positive, as the song says. And the positive is that a number of the city's buildings are graced by the whimsical murals of Greg Brown, who died recently, too young, at 62. These life-scale paintings, whether at street level or tumbling trompe l'oeil from a window or balcony, can still catch you by surprise, even when you have seen them dozens of times. Here he is touching up Spiro Agnew, who happens to be pushing an alien in a stroller. It's hard to imagine that anyone has brought more everyday joy to Palo Altans.

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