The Miami Marlins did a lot of different things with the opening of Marlins Park in 2012. One of the things that received almost universal criticism was the unveiling of what is now known here at Fish Stripes as the Monstrosity. The massive center field home run structure that lights up any time a Marlin sends one over the fence has been panned as tacky and gaudy, as most other home runs sculptures are. But the artwork was eccentric to say the least, filled with bright colors and cartoonish sea creatures that spin and dance on the rare Marlins home run. It was certainly a strange sight to behold when active.
Well, the fans have probably grown to enjoy the Monstrosity (LIGHT THAT THING UP!), and it seems that the Marlins like that sort of art as well, because they have commissioned another piece of work to hang in Marlins Park starting next year.
This work by Kenny Scharf called "Playball" is certainly in line with the Monstrosity's eccentric flair. It has taken me quite a few looks in enlarged form to realize just what is going on here. The piece seems to feature a number of classic baseball stadium experiences all rolled into one, from peanuts and crackerjacks to pretzels to beer to what I can only assume is baseballs flying out of the park. These features are all conveniently mashed into one blue background of the sky and an underlying baseball field.
That may be where my problem with the piece lies. It's very busy to say the least, with things flying left and right and occupying spaces that make no sense. Part of the artwork is colored as expected, such as many of the food items. Others blend into the background, like the various pictures of baseballs that litter the sky. The addition of cartoonish characters like the flying baseball at the top left and the questionably-placed butterfly on the left side also detract from the work in my opinion. And while Giancarlo Stanton does orbit Planet Hoagie often, the random planet also seemed out of place.
But of course, I'm no art critic, and I won't pretend to know anything about appreciating art like art dealer Jeffrey Loria probably does. And chances are you will not be catching many glimpses of this work, as I imagine the mural-like piece will be featured in an area of the concourse rather than prominently in the stadium. If you never visit that area of the concourse, you may never get a chance to enjoy this as often as you enjoy the Monstrosity. Nevertheless, what do you Fish Stripers think of "Playball?" Does it fit Marlins Park? Is it a good addition?