Art Surrounding Golden 1 Center: A Source of Beauty and Controversy

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SACRAMENTO — Artwork around the Golden 1 Center was shown to the public by city dignitaries and Kings team executives. The largest contribution, a massive “Piglet” sculpture part of the Coloring Book series, was unveiled by Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.

It’s the centerpiece to the arena’s grand entrance by artist Jeff Koons. He said “Piglet’s” inspiration came from just that.

“I was looking at a coloring book an outline of Winnie the Poo of Piglet. And I just took my own markers, my water color and I just colored, I made different designs,” Koons said.

Ranadive, praised the 18-foot piece, believing his fans will learn to embrace it.

“Jeff we have the best fans in the world in Sacramento, and it’s because of the fans that we were able to keep the team here. And now the fans are going to be able to enjoy your iconic art, so thank you,” Ranadive told Koons in front of reporters on Monday.

The $8 million piece is a source of controversy; $2.5 million came from the city with the team’s owners picked up the rest of the cost. Ranadive was quick to wave off criticisms, Koons is not a local artist, pointing out that the $10 million worth of art surrounding the Golden 1 Center also comes from artists here at home.

“We’re going to have both a global icon like Jeff Koons and we have a lot of local artists who are great. It’s not one or the other its both and you can walk around the arena and see that,” Ranadive told reporters.

One of those pieces, “Missing the Mark,” came from Sacramento artist Gale Hart. Her message may resonate with fans after a Kings loss.

“There’s not really a bulls-eye in the piece. And there’s no numbers on it so you can’t really play the game. So it’s like well what if we didn’t keep score,” Hart told FOX40.

As for “Coloring Book”, some question if “Piglet’s” beauty will stand the test of time.

“This is cool, I just wonder about when the birds crap on it, they’re going to have to have somebody on maintenance to do it all the time clean it,” said attendee Roger Forson.

Another piece, “Sonic Passages,” uses sound to create art. The San Francisco artist, Bill Fontana, said he used audio recordings from the bottom of the Sacramento River as well as a Kings basketball practice to inspire fans entering and leaving the north side of the arena.

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