Cupid’s Span, That Big Sculpture on The Embarcadero, Has Become a Skateboard Park for Local Youth – Don Fisher’s Legacy

Avert your gaze, “art” lovers.

Via Uptown Almanac and Fecal Face: “Dropping in Diptych – San Francisco, CA – My buddy Trevor dropping in on Cupids arrow on the way to Atnt park.”

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Is this what Gap founder Don Fisher would have wanted?

Cupid’s Span

Rincon Park, San Francisco, California.

Stainless steel, structural carbon steel, fiber-reinforced plastic, cast epoxy, polyvinyl chloride foam; painted with polyester gelcoat
64 ft. x 143 ft. 9 in. x 17 ft. 3/8 in.

Commissioned by D&DF Foundation, San Francisco
Installed November 2002

Statement by the Artists:

Inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the home port of Eros, we began our project for a small park on the Embarcadero along San Francisco Bay by trying out the subject of Cupid’s stereotypical bow and arrow. The first sketches were made of the subject with the bowstring drawn back, poised on the feathers of the arrow, which pointed up to the sky.

When Coosje van Bruggen found this position too stiff and literal, she suggested turning the image upside down: the arrow and the central part of the bow could be buried in the ground, and the tail feathers, usually downplayed, would be the focus of attention. That way the image became metamorphic, looking like both a ship and a tightened version of a suspension bridge, which seemed to us the perfect accompaniment to the site. In addition, the object functioned as a frame for the highly scenic situation, enclosing — depending on where one stood — either the massed buildings of the city’s downtown or the wide vista over the water and the Bay Bridge toward the distant mountains.

As a counterpoint to romantic nostalgia, we evoked the mythological account of Eros shooting his arrow into the earth to make it fertile. The sculpture was placed on a hill, where one could imagine the arrow being sunk under the surface of plants and prairie grasses. By slanting the bow’s position, Coosje added a sense of acceleration to the Cupid’s Span. Seen from its “stern,” the bow-as-boat seems to be tacking on its course toward the white tower of the city’s Ferry Building.”

From the peanut gallery:

“This thing is awful.  I do not understand putting up a piece of ‘art’ that looks like it should be at Disneyland’s California Adventure, smack-dab in the middle of an already amazing view.  Everytime I go by it it pisses me off.  Leave the Bay view alone to it’s own devices.”

“This Disneyland crap makes me want to barf. If only Chicken John had been elected mayor, he would have run his pickup truck into this eyesore and San Francisco would have looked like a real city again”

“Ugh. Really? It’s hideous and tacky. It belongs in Cleveland, not San Francisco.”

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One Response to “Cupid’s Span, That Big Sculpture on The Embarcadero, Has Become a Skateboard Park for Local Youth – Don Fisher’s Legacy”

  1. Alai says:

    I’m not a huge fan of it, but if it’s there, why not skate on it?