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Dave and Anke
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Yes, but is it ART??? Toward a Square Boat Aesthetic

An Objet d'Art by Shigeo Fukuda

It's hard to see in this photo, but that there's a chaotic jumble of forks, welded together.

"My Lord," I can hear the conservative among you cry, "THIS is what the National Endowment for the Arts is wastin' our hard-earned, tax-payer dollars on... an UGLY mess of flatware???"

De gustibus non disputandam, it is often said... There is no disputing matters of taste. Often said, but seldom does the observation rule the debate.

An Illustrative History:

 A friend and his daughter (then eight years old) built themselves a BRICK (designed by Phil Bolger, it is essentially a rectangular box with a rockered bottom, and a mast stepped on one gunnel). They brought it to a messabout which I attended, and sailed gleeful circles around a fleet of quite ordinarily respectable boats.

Not long after, they moved out to Mystic Seaport, where HMS ROSE (the tall ship, starring in the movie, Master and Commander) was lying.

They sailed up to her, one fine day, and struck up a conversation with a young man at the rail, who turned out to be ROSE's Engineer. He looked down from his rail, down his nose and upon the BRICK, and allowed as how that Bolger Guy was about the worst thing to happen to boats.

Taken aback, my friend rallied and leapt to Bolger's defense.

Function sparred with Form. Bladed wit flashed between the two men. They grappled, exchanged broadsides. Thrust! Parry! Riposte! Each was pinked and bloodied, but neither gave an inch.

Finally, near exhaustion, my friend landed the fatal thrust!

"You do know...," he gasped, "You do know that ROSE was designed by Phil Bolger?" (True fact)

"What? WHAT??? NOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!!"

The moral of this story is... um... Don't judge a boat by it's cover? Don't square off with a Square Boater?? To each their own? The ROSE is a Rose is a rose is a...

Square Boats are fast, cheap and easy to build. They perform reasonably to quite well. They can keep the sea. Most importantly, they get some of us - who wouldn't otherwise get ourselves onto the water - down to the sea in a ship.

Viewed from just the right angle, a Square Boat is a Thing of Beauty.

The shadow cast by SF's sculpture, Ship, is a SQUARE rigger! NOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Shigeo Fukuda's SHIP sculpture belongs to a genre called Shadow Art, a.k.a Shadow Sculpting. For an introductory look, check out this link: