Tuesday, April 17, 2012

San Francisco Olympic Club Athletes

San Francisco is home to the oldest athletic club and fitness center in the United States  - The Olympic Club, established in 1860. It's  City Building is located not far from Union Square.

At the main entrance you are greeted with two sternly looking  Greek athletes. The sculptures are of two boxers - Kruegas and Damoxenus. According to a book which has absolutely nothing to do with Art, let alone Human Body in Public Art - "Nonlinear Pricing: Theory and Application" by Christopher T. May - the wrestlers are famous (in Greece, probably) for a particular bout around 250 B.C. Damoxenus killed Kruegas while delivering his knife-like punch with a flat hand. But Kruegras still won, as Damoxenus was disqualified because his knife hand was judged not to be the fist. Here they are... Click photos to enlarge.

As nice looking as they are, there is much more beauty - the ultimate beauty of nude female athletes - adorning the back entrance of the club, the garage on Post Street. It seems unfair at first, but considering that women were not accepted to this club until 1991, having them here is an enormous sign of progress. The author of the bronze bas reliefs  is Michelle Gregor, a San Franciso Bay Area artist.

<Click photos to enlarge>

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