"Quetzacoatl! Who knows what he meant to the dead Aztecs, and to the older Indians,
who knew him before the Aztecs raised their deity to heights of horror and vindictiveness?"
D. H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent

Eric Carlson, 1997
Small "poop" models used to create big poop snake.

The Tufted One, The Feathered Serpent, God of the Sky, God of the Sun,
Destroyer of Worlds, Keeper of the Anointed Leaf, "Bayou" Miller

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How was it made? A link to the construction site.

The word Quetzalcoatl is derived from Quetzal and Coatl - literally Quetzal Serpent. A Quetzal is a brightly plumed tropical bird with brilliant bronze, green and red plumage. Imagine a cross between a parrot and a Las Vegas show girl.

Robert Graham's Quetzalcoatl ascends almost eight feet into the San Jose skyline. The original design called for a three-story edifice of gleaming cast-bronze - it was discarded as being too expensive. The bronze would have echoed the plumage of a Quetzal, as well as the association Quetzalcoatl had with corn.

Graham's Quetzy is derivative of existing statues displayed at the National Museum in Mexico, described by D.H. Lawrence in 1926 as, " ... snakes coiled like excrement, snakes fanged and feathered beyond all dreams of dread." That is the problem. Graham's slavish re-creation of this ancient, snake-focused motif, albeit authentic in origin, is hardly what a city yearning for a nationally recognizable icon needs. The esthetics of the Aztecs are hardly the esthetics of chic and worldly San Joseans.

Gregory A. Dobie, University of Texas, in his splendid thesis,
The Unknown God: Quetzalcoatl as Symbol, opines:
"... To cybercritic Eric Carlson, the religious aspects of the Quetzalcoatl sculpture are not as troubling as the aesthetic ones. Dismissing the work as "repugnant . . . trinket" (Allen-Taylor 1998), he derides its cost, placement, material, and construction. Referring to it as "Quetzalpooples,"
(sic) Carlson perhaps unwittingly picks up on Lawrences's description . . ."
Copyright 1999 by Gregory A. Dobie

I confess to being unwitting of D. H. Lawrences coiled excrement description initially. I am now witting.

Cost of Quetzy: $500,000. A bit much for an uninspiring pile of composite cement resembling a cowpie.

It is planted across the street from the Fairmont Hotel in a far corner of the Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez - on a tiny disheveled traffic island. The statue is surrounded by Port-a-Potties during the Christmas in the Park Celebration.

Quetzy was constructed by William Kreysler & Associates. Graham provided them with an 8-inch model to work from. The finished snake is charcoal gray and cast in artificial stone - composite artificial cement. Something appears to have gone awry in the construction process - accounting for jagged "lines" and poorly fitting "pieces." The 8-inch model doesn't appear to be flawed.

Infrared Quetzy ala Porta - Potties
Mano-A-Snako with Quetzy
Snake up behind Quetzy

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