Male/Female + sun = good cheer

sunrise over male:female

About 7:20 this am, approaching the Charles Street bridge over the Jones Falls Expressway.

Photo by: Mark Reutter

Even as we approach the shortest day of the year, the sun can make a dazzling display to enliven a trip by The Brew to report first-hand on the city’s crumbling infrastructure (the Madison Street water break).

I’m no fan of the physically over-sized and metaphorically underwhelming Male/Female sculpture in front of Penn Station. But I thought its outstretched hands, beckoning the sun’s resplendent rays like an Inca god, made a nice detail in this through-the-windshield shot of dawn breaking over Baltimore.


NOTE: Brew Editor Fern Shen, who describes herself as “one of the six people in town who kind of like Male/Female,” asked me to note that fact. I’m curious if any of the other five want to chime in . . .

Be sure to check our full comment policy before leaving a comment.

  • Gerald Neily

    Just like Irish Spring double deodorant soap: Manly, yes, but I like it too.

  • green lisa

    I like it too….standing there, so flat and simple, not competing with the beaux-arts train station behind it….almost pointing to the train station’s elaboration through its very simplicity.

  • ushanellore


    What will be left of men
    when they are gone are their sculptures
    and their structures overgrown with weeds
    and climbing ivies in their ruins–
    there will be– the slow crumbling
    of their splendor to rust,

    the sun will come up on this mess
    just as usually as it did
    before men ever made their rounds
    upon this Earth–
    and there will be no dearth of wild life
    to watch this happen–
    there will be fat rodents,
    and feral cats in chases on the streets–
    and the streets will be buried
    under the weight of concrete
    broken off from buildings
    left to breathe the dust within–

    To get a glimpse of how this would be–
    drive slowly very early in the day–
    your eyes peeled on the horizon–
    and if you are lucky you might in the distance see
    a massive android rising from the mud,
    against a sky decked out in rainbows–
    it will stand there eerily
    a flat colossus–arms outstretched,
    a space age sphinx–a riddle despised,
    bathed in the primal light of dawn,
    like the ruins dead men will leave–
    it will challenge our ideas of what is art–
    ugly made lovely by the backdrop–
    and by the mystery of the moment….

    Usha Nellore

    • James Hunt

      Then a Charlton Heston-like figure, liberated from his ape overlords, will stumble across the scene and shout: “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”

      Or, inspired by the Holy Spirit, he’ll recall Genesis 5:2 “He created them male and female, and He blessed them …” and go find a woman and get busy repopulating the planet.

      • ushanellore

        And all of them will be born with the gene for Alzheimers. Amen.

  • Jack

    The more I see it, the more it grows on me. It’s odd and not necessarily beautiful, but it’s intriguing, and I think it’s somehow appropriate for Baltimore.

  • Carlo

    I like it. Quirky. Just like Baltimore…

  • Tom Gregory

    Tell Gort “Klaatu barada nikto”.

  • Nick Sheridan

    The voices of those who like it have been drowned by the opponents. I think it is a welcome relief from the pomposity of this Penn Station

  • C Randolph

    No its not beaux arts marble. And what could you build with these proportions in stone. What could be cast this big. S/He’s big. Let’s set those visitors straight. Amazons live here!

  • jimbrown8

    I like it too. It is interesting, It is not just another man on a horse, and over time it has become a focal point. It has activated the plaza in front of the station. there is no real reason to hate it.

  • jmc

    Still not a fan of mighty hermaphrodite

  • Smiley

    The mayoral candidate who vows to blow it up with an excessive amount of dynamite will win–in a landslide.

    • Christopher Petty


  • Christopher Petty

    Has everyone gone mad??? I keep hearing how the sculpture is “growing on you”…really? Public art is meant to complement the area around it. Out of respect for the architecture behind it, it needs to go. Words like “Provocative” “statement” “quirky”, is so worn out and old. The last gasp of a modern avant garde crap.

  • krempel

    I actually do like it. It’s weird as hell, which is not necessarily why I like it, but I don’t know….something about it.

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • December 15, 2014

    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]