My most clear memory of public art comes from when one of my cousins, Xuxo Vazquez Pardo, was commissioned a sculpture by Vigo´s council to commemorate the 1982 football World cup hosted in Spain for the first time and Vigo Stadium, Balaidos, was one of the playing sites.
The whole family felt very proud of Xuxo, “Unidad abierta” was part of the urban design of their city, Vigo, and while the World cup matches were played in Balaidos people from all over the world saw his sculpture when heading towards the stadium. Soon after “Unidad abierta” was revealed , Xuxo´s “Punto Solar” or “solar point” was commissioned, as part of an intervention of nine Galician sculptors to be staged in a public site in Nigran.
From myself as a kid many question could be expected, but was not that way. True is that it amazed me the idea of an artist´s work owned by a corporation, or like Xuxo´s works, belong to the people of Vigo, maybe because never, until then, I had pondered over who owned the art that surround us in our urban spaces.
Before that moment, I had understood how history transform the public domain, by transforming something built for practical reasons by a community, into a monument, and therefore become part of our artistic public legacy, but I had never given thought to new public art, how was possible such a thing.
Ever since, it has been clear to me what public art means, although I can be mistaken (I rather hear the explanation from you, Jess), and how great is to have our free access open air museums and enjoy sculpture, painting, architecture, any art creation possible, on our daily life pathways .
Thank you all, new and old.