This Sculpture is probably the most powerful work of Art on the West Coast.
It's 20 feet high and can only be purposely designed to cause people to walk by it not knowing it's a sculpture. It takes one by surprise one day when they look closer and see dozens of figures and creatures in the branches, carrying out some kind of metaphorical war.
A friend of mine who has worked with the sculptor said Norman had told him that one of the figures represents Bob Dylan who always been referred to as the Joker. The person writing the article must have misunderstood the symbol since he thought the Jester was mocking the Female figure which represents the Spirit of Life. If you look closely the Joker is grabbing a spear to prevent a Demon from hurling it into the back of a female figure. Obviously the artist must have figured Bob Dylan's artistic force somehow plays a powerful role in life toward opposing Darkness.
I especially like the 7 Birds, most likely the seven days of the week that are diving into the battle. Nearby in another branch a Man sits on a Tombstone mesmerized by a TV which has reared itself up on two legs. The Man sits in the pose that looks a lot like Rodins' sculpture, the Thinker, but it's a paradox since the TV box is empty.
The symbols go on and on in a tapestry of our everyday lives and as in our everyday lives, none of us have the same experience of this sculpture. The Sculpture itself will never mean the same thing to the viewer on his or her next visit to see it. It changes with the Viewer each time, depending on the mood or spiritual place one is in at that time.
Other scenes contained within the composition somehow manage to take the viewer to inward places as if this Allegorical Tree is speaking to one on his or her personal level and knows the specific person and their specific problems.
This work must have been a huge undertaking since it was hand forged in Steel. Each piece welded and there are hundreds of thousands of parts to this sculpture.
It's too bad that there are no photos of this important sculpture piece here. It appears the article is quite old now, but coming across this and reading about it brings back memories of having seen it when I was in the Los Angeles area. So I felt compelled to say something about this work, though it would take a small book to really begin to get to its deeper meanings.