Even before Detroit's bankruptcy, there was an "Us vs. Them" attitude between the city and its suburbs.
Phoenix hoping to bring Mexican sculptor's work to town
The work of a world-renowned Mexican sculptor may be coming to Phoenix as outdoor art installations. While city officials were in Mexico City on a trade mission this past week, they discussed the possibility with the artist himself.
The sculptor is known simply by the psedonym "Sebastian Escultor," or Sebastian Sculptor in English. He is known for making monumental urban sculptures out of steel that use bold colors. Sebastian said he draws inspiration from geometry and his own mestizo Mexican heritage.
On Saturday, he gave Phoenix officials a tour of his Mexico City gallery and workshop. He said over 170 pieces of his work have been shown in cities all over the world.
City leaders hope Phoenix will be next, an idea that Sebastian embraces.
"First of all, cultural exchanges between the two countries is fundamental," Sebastian said. "But also, I'm a sculptor who has placed my works all over the world, so why not Phoenix, since it is very close to our border."
The region is well acquainted with Sebastian's work.
An abstract red torch he made for San Antonio represents the friendship between the US and Mexico and is a city icon.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Mexico's outgoing consul general to Phoenix, Victor Manuel Treviño Escudero, had the idea to bring Mexican art to the city after Arizona passed the controversial immigration law, SB 1070.
"He understood to mend some of the wounds, that art could bring people of different mindsets, different politics together in ways that nothing else can," Stanton said about Treviño Escudero. "So it has really been his vision to use art to bring the two cultures together, and I 100 percent support it."
Phoenix officials want to be the next city to host a traveling exhibition of 12 Sebastian sculptures representing the signs of the Zodiac. The exhibition is currently in Brownsville, Tex.
If the deal goes through, Stanton wants to place the sculptures in front of city light rail stations.