Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale is not impressed by your hastily-thrown together list, Mental Floss.
The national magazine included DiPasquale’s statue of tennis great and city native Arthur Ashe in an article titled “10 Unintentionally Horrifying Statues of Famous People.”
DiPasquale’s Ashe was number three for showing him “holding books and a tennis racket high above the outstretched arms of a gaggle of children, frozen forever in a state of seemingly mocking them for their lack of height.”
The statue went up back in 1996, and, at this point, dedicating any amount of time or effort to criticizing it comes across as passé.
First there were the Confederates, who protested Ashe’s inclusion on a roadway largely dedicated to their Civil War heroes. Then there were the amateur art critics. Lots of them. (By the way, Mental Floss, no one here thinks Ashe is taunting the kids; he’s obviously beating them.)
Nonetheless, DiPasquale was kind enough to play along when Style asked him if he had a clever retort to the latest criticism.
"If you always see what you always saw, you will always get what you always got," he writes.
Asked to elaborate, he replied: “That was cryptic? Well, judging art, like life, depends on what you bring to it, I'm sure.”
That’s right, Mental Floss. The statue’s not inadvertently horrifying; you’re inadvertently horrifying.