This is a selection of comments received from readers beginning with the initial online exhibition. Keep sending your comments here, and Hargo and Edie will thank you.


Just as there are too few women in science, there are too few cats in contemporary art.

My last name is Somerville, and I now wear it with an extra sense of pride.

Marcel Duchamp for the new century!  He used a urinal, you used a litterbox.  He painted a mustache on the Mona Lisa, you turned a living, breathing sculpture into a Matchbox set!  Amazing!

Ars brevis, taila longa.

There is only one other "Gates" more artistic than yours, and that is "The Gates of Hell" by Auguste Rodin.

This is an amazing example of the left/right brain anomaly.  I'm sitting here in my law office, foregoing $300/hour, and the time couldn't be better spent.

First the Red Sox, now this. I can't believe I moved from Boston to New York City. <smacks forehead>

Ah, the pride I feel from seeing greatness in my own hometown...

We don't have anything like the Somerville Gates here in New Mexico. 

A night light in the dark WC of modern art. 

Your Gates are truly "un événement sociologique".

Central Park is Christo's playground, but the whole wide world is Hargo's web!

It takes a genius to say so much with so very, very little and this is really, really little.

Ergo: Hargo!

This is a major work, occurring as it does, in the early years of this millennium.  It surely sets the tone for the art of the 21st Century!

Your gates are very creative and I can see why CNN did a story on them – but honestly, you have way too much time on your hands. - E.F., Executive Secretary, Division of Psychological Services

Call us on : l8OO 0rder N0W or visit:

Gates for the cat, hurdles for mankind.

Where is Somerville?

After visiting "the Gates" in New York, and viewing yours on line, I found yours to be much less epic and festive.

Graeme, your car will meet you at 4:30. Confirmation number is 283503.

You have too much time on your hands.

You do not have too much time on your hands.

Thank you for being the voice of reason in an unreasonable age.

What Christo is to the gigantic-sized art of Diego Rivera, Hargo is to the tiny-sized art of Frida Kahlo.

The Somerville Gates are a veritable 'tour de force', similar in their empathy with the human condition to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Hargo is THE artist as genius and messenger from God.

Would it be possible to arrange a similar installation in scenic West Cornwall, CT?  Assuming we can get the approval of the zoning Board, compensation for your effort could be lunch at the Wandering Moose Cafe.

Sublime. Truly.

You forgot the Water Gates. [This was sent about 400 times. - Hargo]

Dear Hargo and Edie - Your art is brilliant! We love you!

Your sense of true and High art is excellent. Perhaps you should apply for a National Endowment to the Arts Fellowship Grant. Of course you probably don't have the right connections or an impressive exhibition list acceptable to the taste makers of ART.

Edie plays croquet, doesn't she?

Can you please come to Washington State? 
We need you desperately.

How did you choose the color?

The Somerville Gates - the new black.

This website should be the basis for a revolution.

Realism through Comparative Analysis is really your forte, as well as your sophisticated approach to art.

I am fretting about the war in Iraq. Homophobia in the United States worries me deeply. I am tired of national columnists making fun of the little city where I live, Berkeley, CA. The article about your project, however, and the subsequent visit to your website made me laugh so hard that the tears ran down my face. Thank you Hargo!

Thank you sooooo much.  Want to get married?

You have restored my faith in art, lunacy and the American nation. Until now I had assumed that only the Brits got it.

Has there been an estimate of how much economic value to Somerville the gates have brought? I am sure if you asked Bloomberg could make up a number.

A perfect statement about how we Americans view ourselves and how we are viewed by other nations around the world... Your work is Brilliant !!

You gates made me smile.  I am a native New Yorker, actually a Brooklynite, which is even more severe.

Maybe I'm just really dense, but I really don't get it, I really, really, don't.

Dear Hargo,
Are you related to Ringo, or Bob the Tomato?  And I like your gates.
Maya, age 10

When one gate opens, so does another.

Your art brings tears to my eyes. I used to be British and this helps a lot.

"Children how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a cat to go through The Somerville Gates  than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23) 

Christo, Hargo's great emulatee, lives on a deeper (broader? loftier?) plane. His vision is the fusion of art and life itself, interwoven in a seamless melding of plastic objects with nature. The artist, as always, finds such seeming contradictions the essence of the soul, and not an expression of Angst or Geist or Hubris. For her part, Edie is likely to resume her career of eating, sleeping, and pooping, whenever she feels like it, and Hargo will continue to create meaningless abstractions oblivious of his critics -- for it's only the latter that suffer the angst and hubris that art brings. Or, as Micheangelo put it: Art's simple, it's the filthy critics who screw it up.

As a Californian for the last 35 years, I have watched until now in vain for a noteworthy event from the Somerville of my childhood. I  wait no longer. You GO, Hargo!!!

Somerville: Paris of the '90's, New York of the uh-oh's.

The "Somerville Gates" are a good example of Post Modern Minimalism.

I saw the future of installation art and his name is Hargo.

The notion of "high-brow" vs "low-brow" art has been erradicated - art is art is art.

Better than "Cats."

I can’t find the catalog on Amazon. Can you send me a swatch?

You know it was Al Gore who really invented The Gates concept.

Bush was NOT elected the first time! Oh, and uh, loved the gates.

I think you have safely arrived inside the world of quantum physics. And we share the same warped sense of humor.  Shall we meet?  I'm only 80 years old, have original teeth and other vital accessories.

The evenly spaced gates mimic the grid of city blocks that surround the loft, and the serpentine nature of the way Edie walks by -- creating a river of color along the paths.

A sweet & fine reminder of the importance of hype in this culture of ours.

This installation is simply breathtaking in its profound subtlety.  I'm so proud to live in Somerville!

This kept me laughing all morning, which is a big achievement as my job currently sucks. A little advice... never work for a crazy Russian.

tiny orange gates
kitty peregrination
I was happy once

At last an artist for our times who spans not only space time continuums but the archaic human animal divide and presents a postmodern perspective interrogated by the feline.

This is one of the most important works to come out of the post-2000 Somerville Movement in years! This work is on a level with the seminal book "Dancing with Cats", another work which places its lingual apparatus firmly in its cheek.

Hargo "Gates" have a pristine austerity that leaves one in awe.  Are you Finnish? 

I am a fan of Christo's "The Gates" Central Park, New York, NY, USA. I am also a fan of Hargo's "The Somerville Gates" Village Street, Somerville, MA, USA.

Cleaning lady shmeaning lady - Hargo's Gates are forever!

Thanks for the expose and the striking photos. The unfairness of the comparison is clear -- the differences do outweigh the similarities. The sheer scale of your undertaking, the variegated terrain, should not be underestimated. You have grappled with space and texture and wrestled them to a draw. No matter what the media says -- you have triumphed!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

I recently moved from Somerville to New York City because I thought that I would find the most compelling and provocative art here. You've proven that I may be spending too much money on rent for nothing.

Your bold use of orange, in front of a feline audience that only has color vision in the blue/green range, is an irony that speaks volumes about deforestation and American involvement in Iraq.

As a dog lover, I found the images of the Somerville Gates deeply disturbing, as well as elitist and exclusionary. The artist's subject lives a life of debauchery- and yet is elevated to near god-like status. The work culminates in "The Stairway Gates". The cat, placed high above the viewers direct line of vision, has ascended to some sort of royal status. I, for one, will not bow before her.

What gives?

The Somerville touch is deeply poetic,
The confluence of gates and terrain profound.
I think you've defined a new aesthetic;
I'll have to send the link around.

Jasper Johns might be jealous;
Andy Warhol would be cowed.
I don't want to sound too overzealous,
But Christo himself is going to be wowed.

We love you Massachusetts !!!  Regards, California

The strong diagonal lines of the gates, combined with the juxtaposition of canine image and feline reality, was truly powerful, and spoke to the human condition. We are all animals, are we not?

As I viewed your photos, I felt a sense of community as well as a warmness which can only be found when gazing at the color I like to call saffron but you may call it tangerine. At once, I laughed and cried and felt rejuvenated and inspired, some might say reborn, even though I don't recall the feeling of being born initially.

Even my mother (94 years of age and with iffy eyesight) had some good laughs out of this.

The artists message comes across with such dignity and conviction. You went forth boldly with abandon yet quiet focus.

Having grown up in Somerville and seeing it through it's awkward years ie. "The All-American City" and "Slumerville", I am finally able to dig my old cheerleading jacket out of mothballs and proudly tell the world that yes, I am a product of THAT Somerville, the one with "The Gates". I feel reborn!

Size does not matter.

Simply brilliant, you totally smoked the crackers, and they live in NYC. My wife lived in Somerville, are you that crazy artist guy she used to date in college?

Thank you for giving the planet the Somerville Gates!

Completely and totally irrational.  Absolutely no point whatsoever.

I found the gates to be far too Edie-centric. It's as if Edie is consciously stealing focus, undermining the sheer power of the work. A true pity.

RE: From a fan of "Gates". I'm 24. r u single? Thx. :)

The cat is an archetypal symbol for cunning (OK, so we’re mixing Freud and Jung here but at this point, who cares?) and the suggestively concealed litter box represents… well…   Sorry, our time is up.  We have to stop now.

I have been waiting 2,000 years for you and finally the Internet, created by me to facilitate my search for you, has brought you to my cognizance.

Thanks for the best laugh I've had in...well, since Bush was elected the first time.

The Somerville Gates rival only the most profound works of art that man has created, and is sure to withstand the brutal test of time as one of the most important installations of the third millenium. Bravissimo!

O, thank thee and thy helpers for your gates!  They elicit laughter and mirth, and admiration for thy fertile, funny mind and nimble hands.

Derivative. A true artist could have come up with a different hue.

Peace begins at home... and in the poopatorium.

My cat Opie, a native of Venice, CA enjoyed the exhibit very much.

I was on the installation crew for the Gates project in Central Park last week. It was great fun. And so is your site. We've already passed the link around our entire crew and its' getting great responses. Thanks!

As a former artist and current (multiple) cat owner (or, is that cat-owned?) I really, really, really appreciate what you've done - for art lover's, cat lover's (cat-loved) and, those of us trapped in frozen-tundra land who have 0 chance of vising the Maxi-gates in Central Park.

Is this perspective? Or decompensation? A metaphor for the sound of one hand clapping? Or shall we say, flapping? Appreciation is, as always, in the eye of the beholder.

Sanity is relative.

I love you for this. You are my hero!

I noticed that you have the same stove that I do. We saw the Central Park Gates this past weekend, and there wasn't a stove there. So that makes your Gates even more special.

My stomach hurts from laughing. Thank you.

A profound expression of the challenges surrounding feline existence.

You're a Moron! I can't believe I wasted my time looking at this total computer-nerd humor!

When I tell my friends that my son is a graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Science Dept. at MIT and they give me a vapid look. Now, when I tell them that he lives in Somerville, I can watch their mouths drop in envy. You have not only turned the art world upside down, you've given this mother cachet with her friends.

You are brilliant! My cat and I are huge fans of your work.

On behalf of Pet Rescue-NY I want to express my appreciation for this most spectacular work that is sensitive to the needs of animals and the environment. We wonder if you might be interested in wrapping our new shelter in silver fabric (whenever we get it).

We see the NYC version next week.  I hope they don’t come with a proportionately sized cat.

You have taught me to say "poopatorium" with pride.

We haven't chuckled this much at an art work since Bruce McLean's 1970 "I'd Give a Million Smiles For One of Your Miles" Walter de Mario piece.  That's a long time without a chuckle.

Tomorrow I will start my art history course with a comparison between Christo and Somerville Gates. Thanks a lot. Best, ADP, Università di Udine

Is Edie your Yoko?

Did you consult much with the cat on placement or environmental issues?  Keep up the good work. Thank you for sharing your vision!

Amazing. There is just something about this that touches the inner me. It gives one a feeling of hope and of harmony. I look forward to your next installation.

I am deeply moved. Deeply.

Laughter is the best medicine and the greatest measure of genius. The MacArthur Genius Award should be arriving any minute.

I was transported to a catatonic state of tiny installations. I would gladly drape myself over your cat and abode. I too am proud of Somerville, and of having resided there during my 4 years at Tufts. Perhaps a miniature museum will invite you to display the Somerville Gates; may they wave proudly.

Is it my imagination, or is the cat eating a gate?

I have not laughed this hard since I saw the hunchbacked profile of our illustrious leader during the Presidential debates.  A true triumph for the feline species, which is, of course, superior to our own.  Thanks for making my day!

I hope you don't mind my saying, you are much cuter than Christo!

I have an upcoming date and I was racking my brain on what sophisticated cultural event I could take my date to prior to attempting to get her in bed.  Is there an open house of any sorts planned for the Somerville Gates?

I'm looking forward to the photograph of the First Lady touring The Somerville Gates in a pants suit.

My 4 cats and I enjoyed looking at your installation on the web here at our home in Beijing. Is there any chance your exhibit will travel to China?

Run for President. Or Something. Viva la Anti-Christo!

Somerville is monumental & incomparable.

Isn't it wonderful that the Central Park Gates and the Hargo Gates have caused so many people to communicate, laugh, tut tut, be astounded, appalled, enjoy, and smile, and, did I mention, talk to each other?

This is exactly what I need in my life. Thank you, Hargo.

Last update: August 12, 2005 05:00  


© Hargo 2005