Dave Poulin, the artist behind the leering Lucille Ball sculpture that has been terrorizing residents of Celoron, New York since 2009, has apologized for the unpopular statue’s appearance (see Dave Poulin’s Creepy Lucille Ball Statue Spawns Debate in New York Town).
“I take full responsibility for ‘Scary Lucy,’ though by no means was that my intent or did I wish to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image,” said Poulin in a letter to the Hollywood Reporter, noting that he has never been happy with the work, which he considers “by far my most unsettling sculpture, not befitting of Lucy’s beauty or my ability as a sculptor.”
The statue is based on a classic I Love Lucy moment, in which Ball’s character attempts to film a commercial for Vitameatavegamin health tonic while getting progressively drunker from tasting the intoxicating product. With its glazed eyes and demonic-looking expression, however, the artwork completely fails to capture Ball’s quirky charm.
Celoron mayor Scott Schrecengost has been working for years to have the sculpture fixed, a proposition that Poulin had previously told him would cost as much as $10,000.
Despite acknowledging that the sub-par piece should have never been cast, Poulin noted that “it puzzles me when an art work is donated to a community, they accept it, and then get angry and insist you redo the art work at your own expense,” complaining that “to create a life-size bronze is a consuming and expensive endeavor.” (In similar situations, public artworks have simply been removed—see Kazakhstan Takes Down Statue Ridiculed as “Hobbit Selfie”.)
Nevertheless, given the widespread public outcry over the unfortunate-looking artwork, Poulin is now “willing to put my time and money into redoing the Lucy sculpture and feel confident after ten years I can do a much better job.”
Noting his humble background and acknowledging that “my style of work is not for everyone” but that he had “diligently worked hard to improve my skills and be creative in my work” Poulin promised he would replace the offending work with “a new beautiful and charming ‘Lucy.'”
For Schrecengost, however, such an offer is too little, too late. Poulin “had plenty of opportunity to step forward,” he told CNN. The town is now looking to engage other artists to rework the piece from the shoulders up.
As Celoron looks to fix its Lucille Ball blunder, nearby Jamestown, home to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy, has reportedly been making some noise about getting an I Love Lucy sculpture of its own—but Schrecengost is having none of that. “The best place for a life size statue of Lucy is right where it is now—in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in her hometown, in the village of Celoron” he insisted in a statement.
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