Once I went to visit some rad friends in Austin, Texas. They lived behind a cupcake shop with a giant rotating cupcake on top. And down the road was a gym with a bulging muscular arm sticking out of it. A further drive away was a food co-op with a dinosaur on its roof. And in the other direction, a restaurant with a giant burger being towed by a car…on its roof. The city was positively teeming with giant things! But all the Austinites I talked to hadn’t really noticed?
It was weird. I mean, if I drew the Austin skyline it would be giant boxes of fries next to a giant zebra dressed as Carmen Miranda next to a huge boot next to a giant cowboy hat next to a huge boot (there are lots of big boots). If the average Austinite drew the skyline, s/he’d probably draw the state capitol and some buildings.
My mission was clear. I had to go to Austin to appreciate all the under-appreciated things on top of buildings. I ended up living there in the summer of 2010. I lived in a cool co-op and did a cool internship. But the rest of my waking hours were spent visiting all the oversized monuments to mundanity and taking one picture of each of them with a disposable camera. So diligent was my quest that I ended up visiting the studio where all these monuments are created. Being eye-level with something intended to be seen from far below is a really cool experience. I hope you get to try it sometime.
And now, pictures (though not all of them because I misplaced half).
Thank you, Austin!