Last week, news came out about a controversial new public art project in Vancouver. A seven-foot-tall porcelain poodle was erected atop a 25-foot pole in the Main Street neighbourhood. The well coiffed canine came at no small cost. The poodle, along with a bus art campaign along Main Street affiliated with the same project, cost nearly $100,000.
Now, it seems that the pampered pooch has taken to Twitter to make its case.
“Where do I pee?” read @MainStPoodle’s inaugural tweet earlier this week on Twitter. He (or she) followed it up with a series of snappy, topical one-liners:
Heard a rumour they’re installing a cat on a stick across the street. Can’t wait!
I confess: I take performance enhancing kibble. How else do you think I can balance up here all day?
The pooch also seems to be a big fan of local Main Street businesses, including Red Cat Records and Main Street Beer. His/Her bio includes several provocative hashtags: #$100,000mutt and #keepMainWeird.
The tweets have brought renewed attention to the art project. “Poodle” is the work of Gisele Amantea, a Montreal artist who also spends time in the Gulf Islands. The work was inspired by her experiences riding a bus along Main Street and soaking up the eclectic character of one of Vancouver’s hippest neighbourhoods.
In addition to the poodle itself, Amantea’s project includes several temporary works located on the #3 buses that service the Main Street corridor. A work titled Memento-Pink consists of a bus entirely wrapped in the image of a pink poodle’s knit cozy.
Meanwhile, another bus work titled Memento-Envy shows a cluster of poodle cozies looking eagerly in the direction of a porcelain poodle. This illustrates “the class and cultural differences that have historically marked Main Street,” according to an official project overview from the City of Vancouver. A third bus features Memento-Multo, 22 cards showing curios and knicknacks found in shops along Main.
The $97,600 price tag of the project was borne by the federal government, TransLink and the City of Vancouver, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun. For now, it seems like Vancouver’s priciest poodle is doing exactly what it was intended to do: stir up discussion, dissent and debate about the place of public art. Or, in the words of @MainStPoodle‘s latest tweet:
“I’m not a hipster but I fully support saving the @waldorfhotel – they always leave out scraps for me.”
What do you think about the Main Street Poodle art project? Let us know below.
Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond? Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.