Art in the Raw


The latest Virgin Toast-like miracle is a water stain in a tunnel in Chicago. There are two schools of thought on this: one camp sees a miraculous vision of the Holy Mother, while the other snickers that they see a miraculous vision of a gaping vagina. And doesn't that just say everything about our country today? In Santa Ana, we unite these camps into one. On the majestic stone wall outside Saint Joseph's Church on Civic Center Drive, a mid-1980s Jesus stands tall before us, a mushroom-like halo bulging behind His head. Except for the halo, Jesus is completely nude. There is no Tarzan-esque loincloth, no bit of leather. Instead, a red bulge suggests the Savior's scrotum, while a swath of pink verily spraysupward from it. Nobody has ever liked it but us. 608CivicCenterDrE.,SantaAna,(714)542-2704.


I'll give the Segerstroms this (because you just can't give the owners of South Coast Plaza enough): the day they hired beloved Modernist Isamu Noguchi to create the one-and-a-half-acre park CaliforniaScenario,they did more than just give people a place to shoot their wedding photos: they put their money where their insatiable maw was on the lauded ideal of the City Beautiful. With the six elements of the sculpture garden—Energy Fountain, Water Source, Water Use, the Desert Land, the Forest Walk and Land Use—they harnessed granite, water, earth and the lowly lima bean. It's a stunning place to be. TuckedbehindJerry'sDeli,TownCenterDrive,CostaMesa.


Did someone say “City Beautiful”? In 1975, Brea had the estimable vision of requiring that a percentage of development costs be devoted to public art. Unfortunately, as happens when you've got developers commissioning art—and an arts commission vetting the plans for “taste”—”Art in Public Places” ended up with a whole bunch of statues honoring rhythmic gymnastics, ribbons a-twirl. Sadly, I'm not even kidding. Aself-guidedhighlighttourisavailableattheCommunityServicescounterattheBreaCivic&CulturalCenter,thegalleryandtheBreaCommunityCenter.Call(714)990-7735.


Aside from having a kick-ass master's program in curatorial design (the only one west of the Mississippi), Cal State Fullerton's also got an absolute joy of a campus dotted with goofy and heart-lightening statues and installations; from the giant ice-cream cone that thrills small children to Richard Turner's beautifully ragtag tin-shack waterfall (where you can sit on the bleachers and bitch about how your professors are indoctrinating you) to the broken David,removed from Forest Lawn following the Glendale earthquake, that they first installed how he'd originally fallen—but eventually had to turn upside-down because too many kids were fondling his giblets and gravy. 800N.StateCollegeBlvd.,Fullerton,(714)278-2011.

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