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The Somerville Gates

February 18, 2005 at 09:05 AM
The Somerville Gates

After our nice discussion on whether The Gates are crap or art or something else entirely, I found this absolutely hilarious.

The Somerville Gates will be available in Somerville, Massachusetts until the cleaning lady comes. This helpful comparison of the two masterpieces, including statistics on the years it took to make (26 to .002) and the number of feline visitors (0 to 1).

Amazingly this work of art was accomplished with only $3.50, slightly less than $29 million it took to erect The Gates in Central Park.

(via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

Update: Looks like the photos are gone. From the beginning, it stated they would be up until the cleaning lady comes and apparently she has. I wish I had saved a few more of the photos. Oh well, at least now we have The Crackers to look at.

Update: Well the Somerville Gates really were really at Somerville City Hall yesterday. Turns out he received more than four million hits and that's why the photos had to be taken down. The Boston Globe has an article about them and how museums are now interested in displaying his work.

Update: I put up a slideshow (Flash 7 required) of as many of the photos as I could find so people who could see them who hadn't. I'll keep them up as long as possible, but I imagine the cleaning lady might come visit me before long too. (SlideShowPro is awesome by the way.)

Posted in Humor | 16 Comments | Add yours


1 Lex said...

Any ideas on why the site now says only "The Cleaning Lady Has Come?" I wonder if maybe there was threat of suit or something, I seem to remember reading that the Christo's were going super-nuts over copyrights-n-stuff... Dunno if it's true, but it's interesting that the pics are down.

Posted on February 24, 2005 at 01:35 PM

2 Brian said...

The photos were always just going to be up for a limited time, might be as much a bandwidth issue as anything else. I hope it's not some sort of copyright BS. After all parody is a protected form of speech, even if it's of copyrighted works.

Posted on February 24, 2005 at 03:35 PM

3 bookenthusiast said...

The Somerville Gates were awesome. I can't believe Hargo took down the site so quickly. It was so well done.

Ah well, like the big Gates, the little Gates will live on in our hearts (or somewhere) after they're gone.

If you want to know what to wear when visiting the Gates, check out Gates-Viewing Attire .

Posted on February 24, 2005 at 05:12 PM

4 tee said...

Some of the original Somerville Gates webpages (and pictures) can still be viewed in Google's cached files. Use this address & click the "Cached" link at the end of the listings.

I was able to view the Original "The Somerville Gates", "The Door Gates", "The Media Gates", "The Table Gates", "The Feeding Gates", and "The Tub Gates".

The original Poopatorium, Fridge, Fluffy Rug, Desk, and Stairway Gates were not available.

Posted on February 25, 2005 at 02:48 AM

5 John Rossey said...

I'm pretty sure the only reasons he took it down have to do with Bandwidth, I read he was getting millions of hits a day.

Posted on February 25, 2005 at 07:31 PM

6 Peter O'Malley said...

Hargo said that the number of hits that his site was getting was costing him thousands of dollars. This is probably why it was withdrawn. The comments from people who viewed the site were funny, intelligent and in the same spirit that inspired Hargo.

Posted on February 26, 2005 at 02:33 PM

7 ellen said...

Thank you so much for allowing me to see the complete set of The Somerville Gates. What a riot! I can see now why Hargo got 4 million hits in the week that he had them up. Hurray for Hargo! Hurray for Edie! Hurray for Patricia! Hurray for digital photography! Hurray for the Internet! Hurray for people who love to laugh and don't take themselves too seriously! Hurray for how small the world is! Hurray for The Gates (ALL of them)!

Posted on February 26, 2005 at 05:51 PM

8 Andy Dietsche said...

I found all of the pictures still on the web at this site. However, I failed to copy the text from the original web site before it was removed, which was almost the funniest part of the Summerville Gates. Can somebody provide the Christo-Hargo comparison and other text?

Posted on February 27, 2005 at 12:12 AM

9 Hargo said...

I noticed your comments, and I thank you for tuning in when the site was up.

The main reason why it's down is that it was time to capture the moment, instead of letting it linger on into obscurity. A secondary reason was that it was taking over my life. The bandwidth/cost issue has been overstated: I worked out a short term deal with my ISP, and have received numerous offers to host the site for free. But I think I'll just leave it the way it was.

It's possible I'll make a small in expensive book out of this. It would at least partially benefit the Somerville Arts Council and a local MSPCA-like org. It would have the original 10 photos, 10 new ones, and as many readers' comments I can get releases for. Still working that out.

- Hargo

Posted on February 28, 2005 at 06:09 AM

10 Joann McComber said...

Loved the photos. The world needs more people like you. All the hype of the Original Gates really got to me. With all the hunger, medical and various other issues needing money, the thought of millions of dollars going into those orange sheets was appalling. Glad to see you will use your Gates to give money to your local organizations. God Bless you.

Posted on February 28, 2005 at 01:39 PM

11 Audball515 said...

Thanks for a wonderful work of art! I love how you kept the cost way, way, way down for this! Commendable, believe me! And donating the funds to worthwhile causes -- that's also commendable!

My 3 kitties said to tell you they think The Somerville Gates are a vision of what real art can and should be. Our Tip (the Lad that Was -- yes, he's "fixed") said he thinks Edie is cute, and if he were able to procreate, he would want Edie to be the mother of his kittens. He's a tuxedo, by the way. Tribble loves Edie's beautiful tail. She asks, "Does Edie carry that tail proudly, as do I?" Finally, Misty, our oldest and dearest, at 16, says she thought she had seen everything, but this is truly "the cat's meow!" She loved the Poopatorium Gates in particular.

Thanks again!

Posted on March 02, 2005 at 04:58 PM

12 Lisa said...

I liked Christo's Gates and I liked Hargo's Gates. I think the world is big enough for both.

Posted on March 04, 2005 at 08:35 PM

13 Echo said...

Thanks for the gates slide show. I have missed those images. And cutie pie pup!

Posted on March 04, 2005 at 10:18 PM

14 Carolyn said...

I was in NYC to see The Gates when my son sent me the URL for The Somerville Gates. My time was running out on the Hostel computer, so I thought I'd wait until I got home to see what he had sent. When I tried a few days later, all I found was a note that the cleaning lady had been there. I was most disappointed, since there was lots of talk about them floating on the net! I was cleaning up my email again today, so just for the heck of it, I clicked on the link again. And was tickled pink to find that the images can mostly be found. Thank you!!

Posted on March 04, 2005 at 10:20 PM

15 Lisa G said...

Perhaps it's a bit late since most of the gates hype is gone, but none the less, the following is another cute gates parody called "The Toothpick Gates":


Posted on March 12, 2005 at 07:04 PM

16 Kelly Taylor said...

OMG! I am duely impressed with your superior interpritation of an over-priced installation of fabrics. Was that man an interior designer for a religious sect? I have passed on to all my friends who had made comments about the "Gates" and all seem to prefer your inspiring depiction.
Thank you so much for a pleasant few mins.


Posted on April 06, 2005 at 02:22 PM