Frederik Meijer Gardens gets PUNK'D!
On Monday Sept. 18, a mysterious press release was posted on a website, Paletta Grande. The website attempts to historicize a fictional Italian sculptor named Francesco Nicola Sansovino, who is responsible for the design of Paletta Grande [tanslated from Italian means "Big Scoop"]. The press release even includes,
what seem to be fabricated, quotes from Meijer Gardens head curator - Joseph Becherer. One of Becherer's possibly fabricated quotes from the press release include, “We are pleased to work with Fondamento per la Scultura Naturale (Foundation for Natural Sculpture) to bring about this important piece of whimsical imagery. A very big horse makes for very big poop and very big poop calls for a very big scoop. Sansovino's grand vision is now fulfilled, to see us smile at ourselves and find playful delight in the creativity of art in all its frolicsome forms, even mischievousness.”
Photos of Paletta Grande also appeared on a Flickr account under the user name Pietro Sorrento. The photos seem to be nothing more than a photoshopped spoof, but at this point nothing can be confirmed.
The name Francesco Nicola Sansovino turns up nothing on a simple Google search, but the names Francesco, Nicola and Sansovino are all common among Italian Renaissance sculptors - this new fictional name simply being a conglomoerate of others true names.
The press release also not only reported William Faulkner's presence at Meijer Gardens and ground breaking speech for Paletta Grande, but it mentions Meijer Gardens partnership with the "Alliance of MICHief in MICHigan (www.gramim.com)," which gives this away as a well executed prank.
Who is this Ashton Kutcher of the art world? Sounds like a young Maurizio Catalan.
LAMB has contacted the Sculpture Department at the Meijer Gardens for more information.
Posted on September 25, 2006 2:52 PM