Ever wonder who sculpted that giant naked woman sleeping at the foot of the Bon Air Shopping Center and Sir Francis Drake in Greenbrae?
His name is Dennis Patton and he’s been creating large-scale pieces of art in Marin for about 30 years. You may be familiar with some of his other work including the giant Don Quixote of the Seventies, the Buckaloo Flats in Greenbrae, and Sir Francis Drake near Larkspur Landing. I sat down to talk with him a little about his memories of Marin during the Sixties:
JASON: So, what’s changed the most about Marin since the Sixties?
DENNIS: Back in the Sixties, we were all adamant about saving West Marin. But 30 years later, we can see that West Marin has a few more expensive houses here and a few more over there. Little by little, its dairy and rancher-oriented beauty is being pock-marked with HUGE expensive homes. For me, I look at huge homes and I say “You don’t need them, I don’t care who you are.” It’s all just ego to build a 70 story rambling edifice to show the world how wealthy you are.”
JASON: What brought you to Marin and when?
DENNIS: One of the magical parts of my Marin experience was that I was only going to be here for two weeks in 1964 to visit my parents who had moved from Orange County and opened a picture framing store in Larkspur. When I got to Marin, I was knocked out at how many wonderful things were happening all in one place.
One of the great things about Marin was that it helped my parents grow as people. They were from Iowa. Within three years they had ascended so much into the realm of what Marin can give you — they had black friends, gay friends…they had to let go of all of their hatreds. My father HATED bankers but after a few years in Marin his best friend was a Banker. I watched my parents grow so much in this place which I recognized as a Free Zone for intellectual and spiritual advancement.
The thing I like about Marin as opposed to the Midwest is that in the Midwest, they think regionally. In Marin, we think Internationally. And even beyond that, there are a lot of people in Marin who are thinking Cosmically.
JASON: So then was your artistic career actually inspired by the county?
DENNIS: No. I was young and I made that sculpture (Trojan Horse made of driftwood) because there was nothing else to do that day.
To learn more about Dennis Patton, visit his website HERE.