Located in front of the Center for the Performing Arts. There is a plaque to the side of the bear proclaiming it to be a Brown Bear. Why then did Bufano make it white and in the recognizable shape of a Polar Bear?
When it comes to bears, details are important. They define a bear as much as the overall shape - i.e. brown shaggy fur, white fangs dripping with saliva, claws that go "clackity-clack," a wet black nose. By carving the "essence" of bearness, as Benny did, you carve away all those wonderful details. How about a statue of just the details and forget the essence?
As it turns out, Bufano sculpted a Polar Bear in addition to this faux polar bear.
Both of these bears are wonderful as "stand alone" bears. They would go great with my decor. I do think the resemblance to a Polar Bear is confusing. This bear looks like it belongs on a lettuce-green iceberg.
The Center for the Performing Arts is rather funky too. It consists of rows of seats that stretch from one side of the building to the other with no aisles except on the extreme ends. If you are in the middle of a row and need to use the "facilities, you will have to walk over 75 peoples feet to get to the aisle - that's 150 feet. Also, the accoustics are described as unbearable.
On Benny Bufano - By Dave Hickey
He had a style that he imposed on
all of his designs, keeping the structure distinctive, but smoothing
out, thoroughly, every detail of sharp or rugged shape. All is
sleek, slick, and phallic, as J.G. Ballard described Ronald Reagan
(the circumcised) and Konrad Adenauer (the uncircumcised) in
his wonderful little short story, Why I Want to F*ck Ronald Reagan,
which everyone should read. Brancusi was the greater precursor
sculptor for Bufano, who may be getting even beyond the trivia
footnote at this point. Appropriately, San Jose would be grand
and magnificently unstylish enough to acquire this piece.