No doubt the hardest thing to be in Berkeley is a Republican, but I'd say lawn gnomes are a close second. How could a mass-produced, garden variety lawn gnome not feel upstaged by Buldan Seka's hand-crafted, exuberant, outsized ceramics? Ms. Seka, an artist-in-residence at the California College of Arts and Crafts, lives in a large, rose-colored home on Spruce Street. That's number 707, should you decide to walk by, which I highly recommend you do.
A perpetual party spills out of that big, pink house. Fantastical figurative sculptures gather around the ground floor, perch on the second story terrace, and gaze out at the vast bay view from a third floor balcony. Busty queens, muscular macho men, giant terra cotta lingams, toddler-friendly zoo animals and strange creatures from the artist's personal mythology all vie for the passerby's attention. They're fun, loud, wildly decorative, strangely alive and just a wee bit creepy. I suspect the only way they'd tolerate a lawn gnome is at the end of a leash.
To read about Ms. Seka, click here.
Wanna see some more Berkeley garden ornaments?
Come take a walk with me.