Toronto is home to a cornucopia of public art. Some of the pieces acknowledge an individual’s greatness or are inspired by their surroundings; others are installed when developers want to exceed the height or density for which their building is zoned—the public art is a trade-off for being allowed a site-specific change in the rules. In each installment of Conversation Pieces we’ll look at several artworks devoted to the same theme, and consider what makes public art succeed or fail.
Today: Ancient musical gods
NAME: Garden of the Greek Gods: Pan (top) and Poseidon (bottom); 1979.
ARTIST: E.B. Cox (Toronto)
A whole pantheon of Greek gods are installed on the CNE grounds; you can find them southeast of the Horticultural Building. Above, Pan, the party animal who’s got Bacchus’ back and knows all the pretty nymphs, is relaxing and digging his pipes. Poseidon has his own instrument, a conch shell, with which to summon the Kraken. Regular ocean sounds can be very relaxing but the sort of winds and waves the conch summons are far more daunting auditory experiences.
Photos by Brian McLachlan/Torontoist.