About blog: this blog is intended to provide factual and critical information regarding a copy of a statue, Unconditional Surrender by J. Seward Johnson II, within the Florida city, Sarasota. Copies of this controversial statue have been appearing, disappearing, and reappearing in Sarasota since 2005. One has been presented to the city public art advisory board and the city commissioners for permanent display several times and always, with much brouhaha..
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Save Our Bay Front: is a consortium of concerned citizens wishing to preserve the beautiful vista that the bay front provides. They also wish that all art installations on the bay front should be temporary ones, that alternate on a biannual basis between a passive vista with no artwork and a six-month sculpture exhibition.
The vistas of the curving Sarasota bay front, the marina, the graceful bridge, and the sunsets reflected in the bay are more stunning than any in Florida or along the entire east coast of the country. No work of art is so beautiful as our natural vista across Sarasota Bay.
Our bay front deserves to be the central focus of our community. Keeping a twenty-five-feet-tall kitschy statue permanently on our bay front would diminish our unique bay front, delegating it to becoming a mere backdrop for Unconditional Surrender, which imitates V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph taken in New York City during 1945.
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Sarasota’s story: Unconditional Surrender here nicknamed, KISS, first appeared in the Sarasota Season of Sculpture show on the Sarasota bay front in 2005. That copy was made of fiberglass and intended only for short-term display at the third exhibition on our bay front held by SSOS. Jill Kaplan, its executive director claimed that the statue was destined to be “the Eiffel Tower of Sarasota” (thinking, perhaps, that we would want a massive French tower on our bay front).
Against Her Will : SAVE OUR BAY FRONT sees the forceful action depicted in the “Unconditional Surrender” statue as not being reciprocated and therefore, considers it an inappropriate symbol to showcase in a community that prides itself on social and civil equality and, which discourages violence.
Copyright Infringement: in a Herald Tribune article, J. Seward Johnson II claimed that he uses a tourist photograph to make the statues. “I did not use the Eisenstaedt photo to do this piece,” he said.
Letters to City Officials: these are e-mail messages sent to Sarasota city commissioners by folks who live in Sarasota and because they were sent to city officials, they all are public record.
Problems w/ KISS statue: Kafi Benz was talking on WSLR about the KISS statue she is very knowledgeable concerning this controversial subject.