A friend's remark caught my ear recently, as she reacted to a new statue that graces an entranceway to my place of employment.
"A bit talon-y, isn't it?" KM observed, with an arch note in her voice. The sculpture she critiqued is a roughly lifesized eagle in flight, banking into a hard turn, with prominent needle-sharp claws and an angry-looking gilded beak.
I love her word, "talon-y" ... and I have to admit that I love that metallic eagle too, in a semi-guilty way (in much the same fashion that I confess to admiring certain fine artistic images of distaff pulchritude). An eagle is a magnificent creature in appearance, regardless of its actual lifestyle as a cowardly scavenger. And eagles appear prominently on some of the best US coin designs of all time (e.g., the Peace dollar, the flying eagle cent, and the recent Sacagawea dollar), although other numismatic representations of the American totem are embarrassingly static and low-dimensional.
As for the depiction of the raptor in the foyer ... yes, it's rather militaristic ... and yes, it probably was put where it is because of post September 11 patriotic sentiment on someone's part.
Nevertheless, for me that statue is a beautiful image of soaring, swerving power and glorious freedom. When I saw it I remembered "The Windhover", Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem: "... My heart in hiding / Stirred for a bird, --- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing! / Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, ..."
TopicArt - Datetag20020416