Aaron Vanderhoof goes all out for art tribute to fallen friend

vanderhoofStatue

 

aaronVanderhoofartSpine

 

Michelle Barbaria and Aaron Vanderhoof, in front of the good doctor's office, on University, posed with their life-size-plus tribute to their friend Eric Martinez. That it features an enhanced spinal chord pushes it from monument or statute to public art,  in my opinion.

Michelle Barbaria and Aaron Vanderhoof, in front of the good doctor’s office, on University, posed with their life-size-plus tribute to their friend Eric Martinez. That it features an enhanced spinal chord pushes it from monument or statute to public art, in my opinion.

I did chat up Aaron and Michelle for quite a spell Wednesday, and his tale about producing the runner statute is quite impressive, methinks. I will have to edit to add later. Meanwhile, here is what I had posted previously before I had the skinny.

From an earlier post about the David Levinthal show in San Jose Museum:

My brain kinda flashed to having seen a new piece of sculpture down at the East extreme of Palo Alto University Avenue, past House of Bagels and Tamarine (the most Easterly culture haunts on my map), a large bronze of a life-size or super-sized or at least super-sturdy looking athlete, a runner, or maybe a sprinter.
The man is hunched forward like he is in a sprint. He has a logo for the leading sports shoe manufacturer on his shoes. He also has the name of the business/tenant on a name-tag (in bronze) on his shorts and shirt. The sponsor of the work — somewhere between public art, sculpture, a statue and a monument — is a chiropractor or a sports chiropractor. And his name fittingly is Vanderhoof. (Hoof being a reference to “feet”, in my mind, maybe he is a podiatrist, as well, like my Gunn contemporary Amol Saxena). I was thinking of chatting up the guy about doubling down on monument but adding some kind of value like could the statue, the next statue, that he and I could co-produce, with some fellow travelers and art-sports-scene hoofers, be of someone or something more specific. Think John Carlos and Smith as seen by Rigo, at San Jose State. Think Major Taylor in Worcester. Think Heisman Trophy winners at not-much-else-going on large public schools in midwest and south. (Chris Wuelpher?) Think weird tribute to electronics pioneer, eugenicist and pseudo-inspiration to Silicon Valley mavericks in Cali Avenue Area — could this runner be the same artist – fabricator? I am also still looking for an outlet for my Harry Hillman or my Hillman-Robertson jones. I will edita with pic of runner. And hopefully some informed (shaped) comments on Levinthall and or “Ida”. Dr. Aaron Vanderhoof at 616 University.

The most obvious correction from above is that Aaron designed and produced and installed this work himself, thanks to finding online a fabricator overseas. And his motivation was to honor his friend and colleague Eric Martinez, a recently deceased trainer and athlete.

What popped into my gray-matter this morning was the untimely demise of Bill Green, who for Cubberley High in 1980 broke a national record in the 440. He would have gone to the Olympics, and maybe taken home to Palo Alto one or more gold medals, if Jimmy Carter had not called for a boycott of the Games, in Moscow. Bill died recently, a rare disease that presented with him unable to move his legs, ironically enough. Maybe, if Aaron feels a second wind as art provocateur, we can team up to honor Bill Green In Action with a similar treatment. Earlier I had chatted up Joey Piziali, a former Paly footballer, about creating a colorful mural on Cubberley campus grounds re Green. (I was picturing gold, black, green, red, white and blue or something). Maybe it’s not to late to pitch this idea to Mandy Lowell et all, albeit a bit like putting on a blind fold and winding up with the 24-pound hammer, then letting it fly.billGreen

Harry Hillman was a Dartmouth coach who along with Lawson Robertson hold the World Record for 100-yard dash as a tandem — the so-called Three-Legged-Race, 11 seconds flat in New York in 1909, more than 100 years ago. Today’s runners are much faster, but arguably their ego’s would not permit them to team up the way Harry and Lawson did — that duo came out of a military track team that performed many events that combined precision and fun and selflessness.

 

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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