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Bullman with Bulldog.

Bullman with Bulldog

Field review by the editors.

Walnut Creek, California

"I've worked in public art for a while," said Steven Huss, public art manager for the city of Walnut Creek, "and sometimes you're approached with a public art 'gift'... and you don't want it, believe me," he said.

"But this gift was very different."

The gift was Bullman with Bulldog, sculpted by Gerald Heffernon and donated by Walnut Creek real estate developer Brian Hirahara. "Gerald proposed the idea, and then Brian came to the city and said, 'This is what we're thinking,'" Steven recalled. "And we said, 'Oh, hey, that works!'"

The life-size and lifelike bronze statue depicts a well-dressed minotaur ("Bullman") leaning against an already existing downtown lamp post while holding a bulldog by a leash. "The detail is terrific," said Steven, from the fiber in Bullman's natty blazer to the veins in his human hands. The sculpture was kept secret until its unveiling on May 11, 2017. According to Steven, it became an instant hit among the selfie crowd.

The meaning behind Bullman with Bulldog remains obscure, although Steven conjectured it could be a lets-live-together update of bull-baiting, a bloodsport that once pitted bulls against bulldogs. We speculate that Bullman's suave attire may have something to do with his location: outside an upscale clothing store in one of Brian Hirahara's retail developments.

Hirahara also had a hand in approving Fountain Head, another unconventional piece of Walnut Creek public art.

Also see: Shark Girl

Bullman with Bulldog

1301 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, CA
Downtown. On the west side of N. Main St. at its intersection with Mt Diablo Blvd.
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