The really tricky part is creating something that doesn't pander to the payer because, well, that just ain't art.
Which is why I love Infinite Tire, the newly installed cast aluminum 60-foot tower by Douglas Coupland, at the new Canadian Tire mecca on south Vancouver's Marine Drive.
Like Coupland, I spent my early adult years in print media negotiating the ad-driven war-zone of sales and editorial. While the ads drive the business and the sales reps relentlessly lobby for profit-motivated editorial content, good writers quickly learn how to create engaging stories that don't spoon-feed readers but provide space for them to exercise their own faculties of judgment and reason.
This is how crafting the story connects to crafting the concept for an artwork. While Infinite Tire may seem an obvious salute to an icon of a ubiquitous Canadian store — its own MotoMaster tire — it could also reverberate as a statement about the never-ending line of climate-changing motor vehicles that defines our times, reaching up into the threatened atmosphere. Or it could be just a celebration of scale, repetition or whimsy, as hinted to in its title that plays on Brancusi’s Infinite Column.
There's a lot of room to play in that open space.