About ten years back the old Multnomah Hotel was converted from a suite of decrepit federal offices back into a business hotel – now part of a national chain.

Following a popular trend, very big in casinos and uninteresting resorts, this place, at Third and SW Oak Streets has installed spectacle art as a memorable object. This used to be the niche of taxidermy or wax museums but now tycoons like Steve Wynn use art as lobby filler, fluff for the rubes.

You can imagine the dialog by the traveling sales reps, “remember that place we stayed at in Portland?” “Which one?” “The big place downtown with the really weird statue in the lobby.” “Oh yeah! What was up with that?”

Good question. Not that we should make traveling sales reps our aesthetic measuring tape.

This thing is easily eight feet high and made by Sandy Proctor of Florida, who has a nice operation of bland and boring bronze sculpture, which probably sells pretty well. This piece, after you stop chuckling, is clearly both fantastically expensive and out of place. Like an odd puzzle piece, tho I can’t imagine the surrounding puzzle. The Playgirl mansion? Jim Bakker’s boudoir?

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