Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Nightmare in Iowa

Today we are on the ever exciting I-80 through Nebraska and  Iowa and by exciting I mean really, really boring. Although to be fair, there is a new sculpture on an overpass in Council Bluffs that is fairly exciting, in a super sized, scary and sharp sort of way.

It's called "Odyssey" and was created by Albert Paley and sponsored by the Iowa West Foundation. There are four separate 60 foot high sculptures that Paley says "... are seen as the gateway of Iowa. The whole thing is about an act of passage, of creating a sense of place and an identity. When you're driving, especially on the interstate, it becomes fairly monotonous, but the magnitude of these sculptures really defines Council Bluffs' image."

Uh. Yes, if that image is one of a horror movie icon.

The Iowa West Foundation has launched a public art initiative and have put in place several works of art throughout Council Bluffs and I applaud their efforts. I like art as much as the next person, but this thing is hideously ugly. Local man, Chris Ragle, told reporters that the sculpture "looks like Freddy Krueger hands trying to grab you."

This is not an exaggeration, it is a scary looking thing to come across on the highway. I have a friend, let's call her Mona, who has phobias of things like trees, the sky, hedgehogs and she would absolutely freak out if she were driving under this hulking mass of sharp pointy-ness.

Here are some facts about Odyssey:

~The structure cost $3 million
~Approximately 85,000 cars and trucks will pass it everyday.
~It took 13 flatbed trucks to bring it in from where they were fabricated in upstate New York
~Paley and a team of 16 studio assistants assembled the four structures
~Each piece has between 46,000 and 70,000 pounds of bronze and steel
~A 120 ton crane was used to lift the pieces into place

Here are some facts about Freddy Krueger:

~The famous Freddy Krueger "glove" was originally made of upside down steak knives
Nightmare Glove
~A Nightmare on Elm Street came out in 1984
~The film cost $1.8 million to make
~The colors of Freddy's grungy red and green striped sweater were chosen because of an article in Scientific American that said they were the two most contrasting colors to the                  
human retina
~I personally know of a 5lb Yorkie named Maya who has a Freddy Krueger sweater but she wears it with such panache that it's not at all scary

Who knows what the next 500 miles of I-80 will bring? I'm hoping for something a little less sharp!


  1. This is your best post yet. I would never have associated Freddie Krueger with that monstrosity, but it was an absolute creative success. The cherry on this delicious cake was bringing into the mix some of your personal life, like that dear Mother and Mya, the only Yorkie who could pull off wearing a Freddie Krueger sweater.

    I could not possibly be more proud, even if I wasn't your mother.

    I love you wherever you are.

    ps Could Glen be suffering some kind of breakdown or just confused about genders? Which ever, he's still my kind of man.

  2. As spokesperson for the Maya who wears the Freddy Kruger sweater, she would like her public to know that at 13 years old (not sure what that is is doggie years) she is still wearing the sweater with the same panache she has shown throughout her long life...and quite frankly, she doesn't care what it does to the human retina as she is color blind.

  3. @ Patsy, I think Granny Clampet in Dasiy Dukes is right up Glen's alley!!

    @Cari, We should all age as gracefully as Maya!!

  4. This post is really good and informative. The explanation given is really comprehensive & informative
    120 ton crane in Pakistan


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