I was saddened to read about the fire in San Francisco that destroyed Tony Duquette's "Our Lady of the Angels" work of art (Part I, Feb. 18). Created out of the glitter and detritus of our consumer culture, it synthesized the histories of mythologies, religions and races. The exhibition/performance at the Museum of Science and Industry was one of the most magnificent, exalting and moving art installations I have ever seen. The image I remember most vividly is that of the angel whose features evolved from Caucasian to Asian to black--a vision designed to unite all of the ethnic diversity in the City of the Angels.
It was a gift to the city of Los Angeles on her 200th birthday, but it was not the people of Los Angeles who rejected it. The people never have a voice in such matters. Rather it is in the hands of a few "culture czars" and the politicians who appoint and toady to them, and who consider art that may appeal to the masses to be suspect.
It is not the people of Los Angeles who revere the much ballyhooed Panza collection, which was purchased by the Museum of Contemporary Art and which features an ordinary fluorescent fixture mounted to the wall at eye level--a blatant and vulgar example from "The Emperor Has No Clothes" School of Art.
Tony Duquette's angels, by contrast, were regally clothed.
Museum of Neon Art