December 9, 2011

Art I Hate and Why: John Silk Deckard's "Eternal Vigilance"

Nationality: American
Born-Died: 1938-1994

Creation Date: 1978
Size: 25.125 x 34.875 inch (63.8 x 88.5cm)
Media: Larger than life size
Location: The Erie Art Museum, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

I have never seen a less inviting work of art adorning the entrance of any building, let alone an art museum.  I would be lying if I said I felt anything but loathing for this sculpture, which is appropriate considering it stems from a loathing of man and of self.  It sits outside the old entrance of the Erie Art Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The museum’s collection is small but nice, the new wing is beautiful and I even am proud to have briefly worked there.  However, I would shudder at the thought if going inside if I only saw this sculpture without knowing that the Erie Art Museum is such a nice place.
The sculpture itself is not very good, but it is not terrible either.  The view of man embodied by it is extremely clear: man is a weak, blind, brutish, helpless victim within a universe of horrors.  Not only is that view incorrect, it is pitiable when people hold that view about themselves.  It's more of a cry for help than anything.


  1. You have eyes but can not see, a soul without heart and expectations that are beyond hope.

  2. @Anonymous
    Argument from intimidation, much?
    "Surely you aren't so naive as to think that a man can achieve something in life?"

  3. That is how one feels when one exits from this museum.