The Fussy Eye: A Storm Indoors

The PACCAR Pavilion's new mural.

You can see the sea in both directions, east and west, from the PACCAR Pavilion. One set of waves is outdoors, the other inside: Encontro das Águas, painted in filigreed silver on a marine-blue background by visiting Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto. The huge mural, making an obvious nod to Hokusai's famous wave, was created over two weeks in April. Cinto's less-obvious homage is daubed on the inside hull of an old wooden dinghy, locally sourced, which supposedly references Théodore Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa (I don't see the resemblance at all). The west-facing, sun-scorched pavilion is a great place for cocktail parties, fundraisers, and weddings, but it's problematic for the art. All that UV is destructive, meaning that long-term, large-scale installations—like last year's giant plastic hand by Trenton Doyle Hancock—have to be both temporary and somewhat disposable. Cinto accordingly uses cheap, durable paint (the silver comes from one of those graffiti pens), and the pram could've been dragged out of some dusty garage in Ballard. Next spring, her waves will be calmed with a new coat of white, and some new artwork will take their place. Turning to the west, I wondered what would become of the boat, whose hull seems sound. Add back the mast and it could be sailed into Elliott Bay, having weathered the indoor storm. 

 
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