Guffaws Bubble From Head Rising Out of Pool

Poll: What is the funniest comment about 'The Fountain Head,' the new sculpture coming out of the fountain pool in front of Mechanics Bank on North Main Street?

Have you noticed all the people snapping pictures at "The Fountain Head," the new sculpture/fountain gracing the front of the Mechanics Bank on North Main Street?

The parents have their smartphones out for photos while their younger children approach — very cautiously — the big head coming out of the pool and the fountain burbling from the top of his ochre head.

Walnut Creek Mayor Bob Simmons is leading a walking tour of downtown sights for colleague mayors of Contra Costa County on Thursday, including a viewing of the two new pieces of public art they've been hearing about — at the Mechanics Bank and Wells Fargo on North Main Street. The city of Walnut Creek is hosting a meeting of the Contra Costa Mayors Conference on Thursday — the regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown library, preceded by Simmons' tour of downtown at 5 p.m., beginning at the north entrance to the library.

Here's a link featured in one of our comments that shows you some two-dimensional, Seyed Alavi public art on utility boxes in Emeryville.

Below is a June 28 response by Mayor Simmons to a complaint about "Fountain Head" from Lara Mijatovich:

"Thank you for your email regarding the new public art installation at the corner of N. Main and Duncan streets and for sharing your daughter’s view of this new public art. I appreciate your comments and feelings about the piece, which is entitled Fountain Head. The art is generating much conversation. People are drawn to it—sometimes stopping just to look and talk with others about the piece. This piece is provocative in that there are those who really like it and those who don’t.

I do not expect to change your mind about the piece. However, I’ve attached a brief description of the artist and his concept to help communicate what the artist is attempting to convey.  However, I have a favor to ask before you read it. If you, as a person who studied art in college, agree that most artists are attempting to communicate something when they create art, I ask that you think for a minute or two about what the artist who did this piece of art could possibly have intended to communicate. I would be interested in your thoughts on that, both before and after you have read the attached. I would also be interested in your thoughts on whether or not the artist was successful in his effort.

Regarding how this came to be in our downtown, both this and the fountain in front of the Wells Fargo bank near N. Main and Bonanza Streets, are the result of the Downtown Fountains Public Art Project. This was a public/private partnership between the City, the Downtown Business Association, Wells Fargo Bank and Mechanics Bank. The artists for the two fountains and their art were selected by a panel of civic leaders and people connected to the public art world and both pieces were approved by the City’s Arts Commission.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me and express your thoughts. For what it is worth, I like it."

What's the funniest remark?

The attention moves us to launch a Patch poll, taking four comments from Patch stories and Facebook entries about "The Fountain Head," by Seyed Alavi and asking you to vote for the funniest.

  • Maybe the bank is showing that most of the people are almost underwater....? We'll have to check back on this... In a few months maybe only the very top of his head will be showing....... lol  — Jim Mongey
  • Just got home from checking it out... how I wish the bubbles were coming out from the nose instead...
  • I feel like it's just going to open its eyes and swallow us.. (Oh and note the water splashing out from the top of his head!!) — Scarlett Mijatovich
  • Pull that baby out of there and give it mouth to mouth so it can be revived and move to another location...ITS CREEPY — Christopher Deflippo

Have you got a funnier response? Record it in the comments below.

Zoe Claire July 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Bigger is better? I am reminded of the city of berkeley "sculpture" mounted with more than some embarrasment over the freeway out there. Yuck.
Rshank56 July 12, 2012 at 03:40 AM
I agree Zoe, they should paint the Berkeley bridge a dark color to blend in more. Honestly, I think the "Cerebellum XL" is funny. I know a lot of long time WC residents find it (and I quote) "gaudy, obscene, ridiculous". So, in that essence, it is good art.
CT- West July 12, 2012 at 05:35 PM
It goes to show you the City can't keep it's head above water.
Helene July 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Anyone else remember the uproar over the "spirit poles" in downtown Concord in the late 80's/early 90's?? Just like this....
michael frederick July 12, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I think everyone is trying too hard to creatively interpret this. The reality of what's depicted is as amusing as the other interpretations presented. It is what it is. It is a self-acclaimed Fountain Head, a public fountain of knowledge ... with closed eyes and a brown nose, spewing what it presents as knowledge to come within inches of suffocating itself. I'm surprised something this politically honest found support in Walnut Creek. Very topical. Well done.


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