You know that sort-of M-shaped steel sculpture right out the front door of the One City Center Dunkin’ Donuts? The one that in recent months was dressed up by guerilla knitters (see the knit-bombed version above)?
There’s a whole story behind it, and during the Friday Art Walk tonight, you can have all your questions answered. Leading a 5:30 p.m. talk about the sculpture, titled “Michael” and part of the city’s public art collection, will be Portland Public Art Committee member Pandora LaCasse. This talk is the latest in a series of presentations — “Art In Our Front Yard” — about pieces in the public collection (some previous posts on the series are here and here).
Here’s some background on “Michael” as provided in a city announcement:
Installed in May of 1974, Michael is the results of the collective efforts of the Maine Arts Commission, the Portland Museum of Art, Maine College of Art (then the Portland School of Art), Canal Bank and local artist in residence John Raimondi. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Raimondi worked with students at the Portland Vocational School for nearly a year in designing, fabricating and finally installing Michael.
During the 1970s, Raimondi’s work consisted of strong angular lines and planes known as his Geometric Minimalism series, which emphasized repetition, the negative span around forms, terminating points, and varying appearance from different viewpoints. Named after Raimondi’s best friend in the army, Raimondi drew inspiration from the letter M, the Archangel Michael – the angel of courage, strength and integrity- and the images of wings, birds, fluidity and flight. Michael embodies the tension between downward and upward movement, and between the wedges of the voids and angles of the mass.
John Raimondi is a contemporary American sculptor of international distinction and renown. Raimondi’s works are formed, rolled, and welded – fabricated into shape from large sheets of bronze. He has completed more than 100 monumental sculptures for public, corporate and private collections worldwide. He studied at the Portland School of Fine and Applied Art, Massachusetts College of Art and Harvard University. He lives and works in Massachusetts.