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Red Grooms' new sculpture for the Miami Marlins ballpark
Red Grooms’ new sculpture for the Miami Marlins ballpark

RED GROOMS’ BASEBALL FOLLY

Mar. 27, 2012

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Could it be that the Miami Marlins fans are less than thrilled with the fantastic new $2.5 million Red Grooms sculpture recently installed centerfield at the new Marlins Park stadium? It’s a 60-foot-tall Lisa Frank-worthy explosion of pink flamingos, palm trees and sunbursts. And every time a player hits a home run the whole kitsch-bomb explodes with 27 seconds of leaping motorized marlins, soaring seagulls and a blowhole blast of water.

Team owner Jeffrey Loria, who is also a New York art dealer and a member of the Art Dealers Association of America, commissioned the sculpture from the pop artist as part of the $634 million budget for the new ballpark. “It's going to be the most amusing home run feature in all of baseball,” he told the Palm Beach Post last month.

But many observers have been less receptive. “It is so tacky, therefore so Miami,” wrote the Miami Herald, while The Miami New Times called it “insanely ugly.” The Baseball Nation blog was even less generous:”If Carnival and Las Vegas had a baby, this would be the placenta.”

When asked by the Palm Beach Post about the criticism, Grooms compared the project to another less than well-received installation he did in Nashville. “It was the same thing; it got an audience that didn’t really know who I was,” he said, adding that maybe some critics didn’t like the design because it wasn’t directly sports-themed.

Now you can decide for yourself -- watch the thing in action here.

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