Corporate Head (2012)

Poet’s Walk is public art project at the office and shopping complex at the southwest corner of 7th and Figueroa Streets. It’s a collection of nine works that combine art and poetry.

Corporate Head is the best known of these works. A 1990 collaboration between multimedia artist Terry Allen and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine, it’s a commentary on the exaltation of greed that characterized the Reagan-Bush era of the 1980s.

Levine’s poem is on a plaque in front of the sculpture, at the entrance to an office building:

They said
I had a head
for business.
They said
to get ahead
I had to lose
my head.
They said
be concrete
& I became
They said
go, my son,
divide, conquer.
I did my best.

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