The saffron-colored “Gates” erected in New York's Central Park by the artist Christo was recently cut down to size, literally, by 50-year-old Geoff “Hargo” Hargadon, a UBS broker.
Hargadon, a resident of Somerville, Mass., created 13 three-and-a-half inch Gates replicas from Home Depot-purchased orange plastic. He then arranged them strategically around his home (and near his orange cat), and threw photos of his “Somerville Gates” on a personal Web site. The parody struck a chord with Web surfers, attracting millions of visitors. The New York Times' recounting of his story ranked among the paper's most emailed articles for two weeks.
Somerville also loved the joke: The city's mayor named Feb. 25 “Hargo Day,” in recognition of “the human capacity for appreciation, wonder and awe that can be achieved when small plastic things are arranged in a certain order near and around a cat.”
Hargo doesn't recommend miniature art as a strategy for winning new clients. “This is not some kind of asset-gathering scheme,” he says. “But clients have really enjoyed it very much.”