I have been commissioned to do a Cow sculpture for a new Children's Hospital in Northern California. An art management company has been hired to coordinate the acquisition of art for the hospital. I have been dealing with them in these early stages of production developing the details of the design etc.
Everything has been going well until they asked me to submit a sketch of the cow WITHOUT udders! Here's what they said,
"I know...a cow without utters is usually...a bull? I like the utters, but I guess the client wants it to be “genderless” for the kids. They want the cow without utters."
I am not a temperamental artist who always has to have things exactly my way. I actually consider myself easy to work with and take the clients ideas into serious consideration. But a Cow without it's most important feature, the thing that makes a cow, a cow?
Come on, are we getting so politically correct that we have to shield our youngsters from the sight of an animals mammary gland? Are we protecting kids from being morally corrupted by producing a life-size cow sculpture without an udder in the lobby of a hospital?
Is this a case of plain stupidity or an example of why public art by committee doesn't work?
The dilemma, do I give them what they want because they are paying for it, or do I refuse to create a Frankensteinian cow sans udders on principle? Anyone seeing an udderless cow sculpture would immediately remark, "where's the udders?".
What are your thoughts?