Dick Greco: The Statue

Oops. The gathering of those underwriting a commissioned statue of former Mayor Dick Greco, 73, was last Tuesday. Election day. Among the many who had political obligations and itineraries that day: Dick Greco. When he left the nostalgia and well wishing at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, he had to hustle to the WFLA radio studios where he teamed up with Jack Harris for election-day analysis.

The statue will pose a contemporary Greco (his idea) on a bench – legs crossed and one arm draped over the top of the bench. A likely site: TECO’s Southern Transportation Plaza between the Marriott and the Convention Center. Cost: $50,000. Already raised: approximately $40,000. Target date for unveiling: November 2007. The sculptor: Tampa’s Steve Dickey, whose acclaimed work already includes prominent likenesses of iconic Tampa figures Roland Manteiga, Nick Nuccio, Tony Pizzo, Al Lopez and the Gonzmarts — Cesar and Adela.

Greco, now executive vice president for Lindell Properties, was on his game at the Marriott reception. To wit:

*It really is a strange feeling. I feel awkward. I’ve seen a number of Steve’s works. Excellent. But they’re all dead.”

*”There was talk of whether it should be (30-something) me in the early years or (60-something) later. One friend said, ‘Just dip him in bronze for the best likeness.'”

*”I’m very grateful. I’m still alive. I’m gonna start jogging tomorrow.”

*”If some good looking girl sits there, I’d probably come back to life.”

As for Dickey, 57, he acknowledges how unique it is to work with a live subject.

“Normally I just deal with families,” he says. They provide photos and insider input, and he goes from there.

For the Greco project, Dickey will shoot 360-degree photos. Later there will be formal sittings. “It helps to know the subject,” he explains, “and that transfers. You watch the features at work.

“But, yes, there’s extra pressure,” concedes Dickey. “I mean the individual is right there. It’s gotta be right. I have to come up with something that looks human. We’re not talking about memories here.”

While he will still be soliciting opinions from family and friends, Dickey stresses that this isn’t art by committee. “Opinions I need, and they’re valuable,” he underscores, “but at the same time, the buck stops here.”

As for Greco, if he doesn’t like the finished product, he can always sit on the bench and simply be beside himself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.