A large clock that doesn’t keep time might seem like an odd adornment to place on the front of a house, but for Wes Coast, as he is known by friends and neighbors, the large time piece that hangs on the face of his home on La Playa Street in the Outer Sunset is simply the most recent addition to its exterior.
“I do an annual art piece on the front of the house,” Coast told us. The installations are changed out periodically and he says they are “just for fun, nothing else.” He’s even come up with a name for the rotating art installations: he calls it “Watch This Space”.
A retired city worker, Coast has lived in the home since 1948. The installations initially started as annual Halloween decorations.
“Every Halloween I did something,” he explained, but then he started to contemplate year-round art pieces. People knew there would be Halloween decorations and would come by to see what had gone up each year, but then Coast said he noticed that “for the rest of the year people [were] just going by and looking here and I realized I should do stuff just for laughs.”
The clock is the current iteration, and has been up for about six months. Initially it was even set to keep the actual time. “I was obsessed with having the right time,” Coast said, but he quickly decided that wasn’t going to work. “It keeps pretty good time, but if it’s a minute off people really get on my case.” After a few visits from people who wanted to let him know the time wasn’t exact, he chose to turn the clock off, setting it permanently at about ten minutes before eight.
He says there is a good range of responses from those noticing the clock for the first time, but generally people see it, are slightly confused, and then laugh. And, of course, there's a lot of picture taking. “It was a very short joke that they could laugh at ... people got [it].”
The reaction to his previous installment— a “man” hanging from the roof with a ladder fallen off to the side— was quite different. “People flashed on it and called the authorities,” Coast explained, “so I had to take it down within a week.”He’s already started planning for his next piece. “It takes me a while to get my thoughts [and materials] together and then to install it. The clock is not for long, it will be out of here soon.”