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Friday, January 09, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
Magnuson Park is hit with more 'guerrilla art'
By Maria Gonzalez
Nine life-sized sculptures of soldiers at attention appeared quietly over the weekend on Kite Hill at Seattle's Sand Point Magnuson Park, where random artwork has turned up for the second time in three years.
In the center of the display, a silver-painted soldier stands saluting eight dark-painted soldiers surrounding it.
From a distance at the bottom of the hill, the soldier sculptures might be mistaken for real people.
"It's very noticeable," Magnuson Park director Eric Friedli said yesterday. "It looks like the silhouette of people walking."
The park has been the site of "guerrilla art" before. As a New Year's stunt in 2001, a monolithic steel slab materialized in the park to welcome the new millennium.
The anonymous artists, who eventually revealed themselves, said the monolith was inspired by the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Those artists, a local group calling themselves Some People, said they thought up and executed the stunt to bring Seattleites some intrigue and levity. The monolith captured the attention of people around the world.
Like the monolith's creators, the artist or artists who put the soldiers in the park did not have city approval.
But officials said it will remain until March 1, when the weather starts turning and kite fliers begin frequenting the hill. The artwork could come down earlier if it becomes a maintenance or safety issue, Friedli said.
"While we don't want to particularly encourage random pieces of art, this park is unique," Friedli said. "One of its key components is arts activities."
Friedli said he hopes the sculptures' artist or artists reveal themselves soon to help answer some questions.
The man who sculpted the monolith, Louie Raffloer, was surprised to hear about the new work, saying he had nothing to do with it.
"Someone's just trying to match the fervor that we created with the monolith," Raffloer said.
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