As the Beltline is being built on the city’s old railroad corridors, I suppose it’s only “fittin’” that the eyes of Civil War Union General William T. Sherman are once again upon Atlanta. This time, they’re staring out from five billboards along the rails-to-trails project.
Part of the Art on the Beltline Project, The Great Invader’s peepers are the third part of the temporary public art installation by Gregor Turk called “Apparitions,” which, according to local NPR affiliate WABE, was commissioned by Atlanta Celebrates Photography and Art.
“When you pass through the piece, it’s definitely intimidating. I’ve heard people describe it as creepy … and so you have these eyes, these menacing eyes gazing at you as you walk through on the Beltline,” Turk told WABE.
Turk says the way the five billboards are set up can be seen as an inverted version of the Cyclorama, a famous painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta, which is presently housed in Grant Park but will soon move to the Atlanta History Center.
Turk told WABE the piece has gotten mixed – and sometimes unexpected – reviews.
“You know it’s interesting. There’s a wide range of responses and I love that. That’s one great thing about public art is that you can never predict what people are going to do.”