John Henry's "Complexus" was a standout at this year's Sarasota Season of Sculpture outdoor sculpture exhibition. The work is bold: a collision of steel forms painted fire engine red at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Gulf Stream Ave. It's also big -- measuring in at 70-feet tall. Most of the other sculptures at the exhibition came down: this one stayed. For months now, the monumental "Complexus" has greeted people coming off the John Ringling Causeway on their way to downtown Sarasota. Now it's definitely here to stay.
Tom Savage, the president of the Sarasota Public Art Fund, recently announced that the organization had reached its goal of $550,000 to purchase Henry's sculpture. Savage is proud that it took less than a year to raise this sum -- record timing for a major artistic donation campaign. He's equally proud of the work and the city that decided to give it a permanent home.
"Public art helps define a community," he said. "This work makes a spectacular edition to Sarasota's rich cultural tapestry. 'Complexus' is a powerful artistic statement -- and a direct statement. That's rare these days. It seems to cry out, 'Hey, look at me! I'm big, bold and beautiful!' It makes an immediate impact on all who see it."
According to Savage, "Complexus" originally came with an $850,000 price tag. Henry agreed to significantly lower the price to make the acquisition possible. The sculpture will be gifted to the city of Sarasota as a permanent part of its art collection at a public ceremony in January 2013.