And then Bukowski said, "When I am gone, erect a bronze statue and worship my likeness for eternity!"

mjp

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Has the day finally arrived? Will Bukowski's lifelong dream of having a bronze statue of himself installed on a San Pedro street corner finally come true?

‘Bukowski in Bronze’ aims to create San Pedro monument to author
It’s not uncommon for tourists, some from other countries, to wind up in San Pedro “searching for Bukowski,” as it were.​
That would be Charles Bukowski, the hard-drinking, underground poet who became a well-known figure in San Pedro in his later years and is buried at nearby Green Hills Memorial Park.​
But there are no monuments to the writer who died in 1994. No plaques, no statues. And that leaves some tourists surprised and disappointed. Bukowski moved to San Pedro in 1978 and was a familiar face at area businesses, including the Vinegar Hill Bookstore, Williams Bookstore, the City Fish Market and Sacred Grounds coffee house.​
In 2015, the community celebrated what would have been his 95th birthday with poetry readings, a screening of “Factotum” — a 2005 adaptation of Bukowski’s 1975 novel of the same name — and a Q&A panel.​
Now, plans are quickly being developed for renowned San Pedro sculptor Eugene Daub to create a larger-than-life bronze statue honoring the writer, with a goal of having it ready to unveil on Aug. 16, 2020, which would have been Bukowski’s 100th birthday.​
The location is yet to be determined, but would be somewhere on Sixth Street where Bukowski spent so much time.​
The idea was spearheaded by Angela Romero of the fledgling San Pedro Heritage Museum project, heard about some recent tourists from Germany who came looking for Bukowski memorabilia in San Pedro. She’d like to see the statue at the plaza area on Sixth and Mesa streets, but no specific location is under discussion officially.​
“There’s a kinship between Bukowski and San Pedro,” Romero, a local historian, said.​
San Pedro seemed to resonate with Bukowski when he moved from East Hollywood, she said.​
“I think it was the distance it gave him from his old life,” Romero said of town’s working waterfront and working-class vibe. “The one thing no one’s been able to bottle is the authenticity that’s here (in San Pedro).”​
From the Daily Breeze’s South Bay History column on Oct. 6, 2010:​
(Bukowski) populated his writings with loners and drunks carousing in seedy bars, and hardscrabble characters eking out a living on the city’s less-glamorous streets.​
In 1978, he moved from East Hollywood to a quiet neighborhood in San Pedro, where he became an increasingly well-known resident until his death on March 9, 1994. He came to love San Pedro’s blue-collar, unassuming atmosphere, even as his celebrity and stature continued to grow.​
A launch party to raise the needed $150,000 for the “Bukowski in Bronze” project will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Sacred Grounds coffee house where Bukowski’s poetry will be read and a birthday cake will be shared on what would have been his 99th birthday.​
A Go FundMe page also has been set up and the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, which is throwing its full support behind the idea, believes the numerous social media pages dedicated to Bukowski — most with a global reach — will bring funding in quickly.​
For a project that’s just been announced, there’s already a growing enthusiasm.​
What about the rather misogynist bent found in many of his works?​
“Bukowski’s not for everyone,” Romero said. “This statue is for his fans and for San Pedro to finally recognize him. He was a great writer.”​
Daub already has met with Bukowski’s widow, Linda, who still lives in the house the couple shared, to gather up photographs and ideas.​
One thought is to create an interactive piece where fans could sit next to the author and have pictures taken. One early sketch shows Bukowski at his old manual typewriter, a cat — he loved cats — at his feet. But there are other designs being weighed as well.​
Daub said after spending time with Bukowski’s wife and going through hundreds of photographs and other memorabilia, he discovered a “warm, personal, kind man.”​

Buk-worship.jpg


Artist's conception of how one might sit at the feet of the proposed Bukowski statue reading a book, pausing occasionally to gaze up at the craggy bronze face of the master, seeking his nod of approval from beyond the grave. An asshole influencer climbing up on the statue to take a picture with his phone to post on his "social media page with a global reach dedicated to Bukowski" is also pictured.

 

Johannes

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The idea was spearheaded by Angela Romero of the fledgling San Pedro Heritage Museum project, heard about some recent tourists from Germany who came looking for Bukowski memorabilia in San Pedro
Those Germans, starting the Bukowski hype once more.
 

Black Swan

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Not crazy about the sketch. True, cats, typewriter, the guy with the cell phone is dumb....
There are so many good photos that one could work from.
that's just me...
oh! Mickey Mouse and a bottle are missing!
 

mjp

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"Bukowski lived most of his life in Hollywood. He eventually moved to San Pedro because he was angry over the cleanup of Hollywood ahead of the 1984 Olympics, and he wanted to clean up his debaucherous lifestyle."

I would ask where they come up with fanciful, make-believe bullshit like "he was angry over the cleanup of Hollywood ahead of the 1984 Olympics," but then I see the Richard Schave name and I understand that we've now crossed over into the realm of bus trip and tote bag promotion and left the world of reality behind.
 

roni

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I see in front of me the repeating of the debate we had on the De Longpre nomination.
To nobody's surprise I'm all for it.
 
From what I understood in the biography by Calonne, Buk moved to San Pedro for taxes reasons. Is it correct ?
 

Johannes

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By his own account, he went looking for a house because his tax accountant advised him to do so.
 

mjp

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I don't care if they build 100 Bukowski statues in Los Angeles and inscribe them all with "FIND WHAT YOU LOVE AND LET IT KILL YOU!!!" People are going to do whatever they want to do, regardless of...well, anything.

San Pedro is as good a place as any for one of them I suppose. I would put it in Hollywood, where a lot of people would actually see it, but for some reason no one asked me where a Bukowski statue should go.

- - -

I don't know. Building a statue of someone, that's supposed to be a dignified thing, isn't it? Like a great honor for a great person, yeah? There is no dignity in a politician pimping a god damned GoFundMe page. That's kind of the opposite of dignified.

In the old days a politician would go to some wealthy art patron that owed them a favor and strong arm the money out of them over martinis and Cuban cigars and we'd never hear anything about it. The statue would just appear one day, and the mayor would unveil it, and The Los Angeles Times would take a picture and everyone would go about their business.

See, that's dignified. ;)
 
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Bukfan

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I guess those cheapskates expect Bukowski´s readers to pay for the statue. Surely, San Pedro or Los Angeles can afford to pay for one.
 

Johannes

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While a bronze statue is kind of bullshit of course, on the other hand it's cool to see that Bukowskis work and influence is still going strong and growing 25 years after his death. Enough for the people in the community where he spent the last part of his life to consider building him a statue.

So I don't know. Kind of bullshit, but not the worst news wrt Bukowski.
 

mjp

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The idea of a statue is fine if that's your thing. The execution just feels off to me.

The politician, the artist. None of it feels right. He may be a fine and respected sculptor, but he seems wrong for something like this. Look at his ideas. A stack of books with Bukowski's head on top? Bukowski sitting at an elementary school desk?

Bukowski was a pioneer and an iconoclast. If San Pedro or Los Angeles want to honor him with a statue, great, but his memory deserves more than the cliches being proposed. It deserves a real artist. Not a Franklin-Mint-Presidential-Medallion-Teacup-Series hack grinding out another work for hire that he doesn't give a shit about.

Remember:

They Will Attempt To Destroy
Anything
That Differs
From Their Concepts


Not Being Able
To Create Art
They Will Not
Understand Art
 
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Hosh

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As ever, the more people you put between the idea and the execution, the worse it tends to get. I guess that's the world we've settled on.
 

roni

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I would put it in Hollywood, where a lot of people would actually see it
East-Hollywood. Yes, I'd prefer that a great lot, too.
Still I'm glad they're doing it at all.
There is no dignity in a politician pimping a god damned GoFundMe page.
You are so unfortunately right. It's cheap.
And every dumbass who's fooled into donating hasn't listened carefully enough since they have already confirmed that the statue will definitely happen. It's all decided and arranged. This crowdfunding is really just a cheap (and modern) way to lower their own cost.
Linda Bukowski alone (who's obviously in the boat) could pay for it from her change. The Huntington could. And the mobster-friends of this greasy city-major, well ...
The politician, the artist. None of it feels right.
yes indeed.

And still I'm all for it.
 

d gray

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The idea of a statue is fine if that's your thing. The execution just feels off to me.
that's exactly my first reaction (and fear)

those things can end up being an embarrassing disaster, depending on who gets the job of making it.

edit - and who's in charge of making it happen. just watched the video - that politician dude looks like he
not only never heard of or read bukowski but would prefer the martinized versions. i'm predicting a
disaster on a hindenburg level.

toronto made a decent one of glenn gould in front of the cbc studio named after him. quaffable, but
not transcendent...

Untitled-1.jpg
 
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mjp

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"If you don’t know anything about Charles Bukowski and have never read anything by him, why would you want to place a bronze statue to him in the San Pedro Town Square? I challenge all of these local boosters down at City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce to actually read some of his books first and then put him into the cultural context of this town before you place him on a pedestal."

https://www.randomlengthsnews.com/2019/08/29/bukowski-bronze-and-brass/
 
"Those Germans, starting the Bukowski hype once more."

hee hee hee.
Actually, the Germans already have a 'little bronze...'. 😊

image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

Johannes

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Didn't know it was installed in 1999. That's really early. Twenty years, baby!

When I was there the people that live there now even let us upstairs to see the living quarters. Not that they could possibly resemble anything like it was when Bukowski was born there in 1920(!), but still very nice of them to let basically complete strangers into their home.
 

roni

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installed in 1999. That's really early
Absolutely, yes. And it has been some fight, especially against the city-councel-mainstream.

I was not involved back then. It's all due to the founder of the Bukowski-Society, Falko Hennig!
It has been his own idea and his fight.
I didn't even know about it, though I've been a member of the Society already. But intern communication was not very elaborated back then. Unfortunately it still isn't, I must admit.

Anyway: All Hail to Falko for this memorial-plate!

the people that live there now even let us upstairs to see the living quarters
They also did when I've been there the first time in 2001. Times had changed.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
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hopefully it'll be better than the lucy statue...

lucille_ball_statue_a_l.jpg


i seriously think they should use the linda king bust, if they do it at all. it's good and has a real historical connection.

buk.jpg


anyone see this cornball travesty?

cobain.jpg
 

d gray

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i know, i realised that after i posted.
 
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