And the review of the bust of Bruce Springsteen that's risen in Asbury Park is just warming up.
The piece in NJ.com begins:
So I'm driving down Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park yesterday and as I'm sitting at the red light at Grand Avenue, I look to my right and see this new sculpture in Kennedy Park. It's this huge head and pretty scary looking. I look at the name below and it reads: "Bruce Springsteen, Soulful Humanitarian."
It's supposed to be flattering. It's by a Princeton-trained sculptor.
One observer worries that the artwork might be enough to keep the modest rocker from even visititing the Shore town where he earned his spurs.
Is it that bad?
To me it is. This is the scary Springsteen, the mug shot Springstreen, the angry, bizarro-world Bruce you don't want to cross. Or play with.
I came across this on Facebook, where one womanly wag wonders:
"What's Bruce without the butt?"
The sculpture was sponsored by the Arts Coalition of Asbury Park (ArtsCAP) and the Shore Institute of Contemporary Arts (SICA). A story in an Asbury Park paper, "The Coaster," reports that sculpture was created by Stephen Zorochin., who has an interesting vision of Jimi Hendrix as well.
UPDATE: The artist's rep, Patricia Florio, got back to me just now. I'd asked what sort of reception the piece was getting. Her response:
"Most people driving or walking by the locations of the sculpture in Asbury Park and Long Branch have been very favorable about it. A certain opinionated, territorial blogger/fan who exploits Springsteen by reporting his every move has taken a dislike to it . With an unflattering amateur photograph he took and posted, he is fueling an internet campaign poking fun at the sculpture among people who have been anonymously panning it. Why is it so important to knock an artistic statement? Some bloggers have actually encouraged vandalism of the piece!
"For each city, which has not yet taken the initiative to pay artistic homage to Springsteen, this temporary urban art exhibit curated and arranged by SICA has brought them each a generous gift of the installation of sculptures of the man, picturing him respectfully in a pensive pose. Perhaps the sculpture is too cerebral for some people. Everyone we have encountered in installing them have been very surprised, grateful and enthusiastic! They have also recognized the portrait immediately.
Mr. Zorochin has ties to the Philadelphia art world, as his background and training as a classical sculptor was gifted to him by one of Philadelphia's greatest sculptors, past Arts Committee member, Princeton University professor emeritus and South Philly boy Joseph Brown. I am sure you are aware that he created the Young Ben Franklin Monument at the Masonic Temple, the Football and Baseball sculptures on the Stadium Promenade, Gymnasts at Temple University, and many other great works of art, some of which Mr. Zorochin assisted in making. "