I'm trying to find a French phrase to express how sad I am that I can't touch Martin Selig's new penis.
Selig is the commercial real-estate mogul who put up Seattle's tallest skyscraper, Columbia Center, back in 1985, and who recently bought the Firestone building in South Lake Union. He owns much.
Often, these buildings have art outside them. Consider the paddleball.
On Saturday morning, a new work of art appeared outside a Selig-owned building: Adam, by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
Adam is 12 feet tall. It is made of bronze, covered in a dark brown patina. It stands high above the sidewalk, where nobody can fiddle with its business, at Second and Madison avenues outside Selig's recently purchased Federal Reserve Building.
This Adam is basically the same as the one that stands on ground level at Time Warner Center in New York. And the fact that New Yorkers constantly polish his dark-brown penis golden—well, that's the best thing about him. He's like a civic lingam.
"'I thought it would be good for sex,' Guenter Virtel, a German tourist in his 40s, said after his wife took a photo of him holding the penis." You really will enjoy reading this entire New York Times piece about the phenomenon.
But here in Seattle, we're supposed to take seriously, from a respectful distance, this Botero™ Adam whose most interesting feature is a flat-nosed, pestle-shaped, cone-ish penis that we can't even polish?
I beseech you, Selig. Put the penis at polishable level. I will take back everything I just said. I will buy stock in the Botero corporation.
Here is my conversation about this matter with Selig on the phone Tuesday:
What do you like about the piece?
I like his work. I've always liked it.
When did you first see his work?
Probably 10 years ago.
What did you think? Why were you drawn to it?
I liked it.
Do you remember seeing it for the first time?
I've always liked it.
In New York, they love to polish the penis part of Adam until it's golden.
You know, this is a piece of art. How you look at it and what you think about it is a personal matter.
I'm trying to get you to share your personal perspective on it.
It's a piece of art. It's a piece of art. Your perception of it is your perception.
So what's your perception?
He's a great artist.
What do you like about him?
I like his work.
I was so baffled by the existential theater of our conversation that I forgot to ask where Eve is, or how much he paid for the pair. Thank goodness Curbed Seattle reported that Eve will be somewhere else, but TBD, and Selig told the Puget Sound Business Journal that he can't remember how much he paid for it. (Was it this sale, for $2.75 million in 2014?)
WHERE IS OUR FUN?!