If you’ve driven on Interstate 80 and wondered about the scrawny statues in the waters off Emeryville and the Red Baron plane off the Berkeley coast, Tyler Hoare can explain.
“As I was driving to Oakland I’d see these posts and thought they needed something on them,” said the Berkeley artist. With his 1975 San Francisco art show coming to a close and having no place to put up his work, he decided he would let the bay be his canvas.
“I was bringing work back from the gallery and I knew I didn’t want to put them in storage,” Hoare said. “I figured if I put them on a post, a lot of people will see them and I’d have a lot of fun doing it.”
Last weekend, Hoare was at it again.
At age 62, with a full gray beard and loose fitting jeans and appearing as though he could hop a freight train as competently as he scales a wooden post, Hoare made his way to sea to replace his weather-worn statues.
After his captain fastened the boat to the wooden posts off the East Bay shore, Hoare scaled the wood planks and hammered in his newest creations: three 6-foot, all white human statues made entirely of biodegradable cloth and wood.
Although increasing frailty of the posts has forced him to opt for lightweight human statues, Hoare is most famous for a string of 14-foot long World War I-era planes that graced the wooden posts in the bay between Ashby and University avenues.