Well I am glad to have caused a meeting of the minds between Ries and Glenn - see what I mean about manipulating activities an the edges of the unforseen.
I understand that bona-fide "fine" artists are often responsible for these very large scale projects, but that resume or c.v does not always ensure that the result will be Art. It is a powerful motivator for and artist to command ownership of great amounts of attention...and nothing will get civilization to pay attention to you better than an undertaking of collossal scale. It would be a very hard opportunity to resist - with the danglings of fame and fortune that come along. It can be misconstrued, though, as personal creative progress... when in fact, a chore of such magnitude might well be a supreme distraction, a complete de-railing of an important creative philosophy...all in the name of what...?
I too, suffering by a Candide-like youthfulness, involved as many as 5 full time people, huge amounts of commercial and retail space in multiple locations, and soiled arhitects and engineers conference tables distributing a version of my creativity as widely as I could. There were some big budgets and a whole lotta rules, inspections and second-guessers. While those years put me in a position to be the kind of artist I now am, I do have regrets about HOW much of that time and energy was spent. I can make big things without them, because "big" is relative. As one-man operations go, I can work as big and heavy as anyone doing it (at least for a few more years). And I have come to realize that the Vegas boys and their ilk are not on an Art track. Another one, and a good one mind you, but they are servicing aspects of the human condition that genuine creative efforts will have nothing to do with. There are many ways to be amazed or blown away...but when a Rothko does it to you - you're truly changed.
BTW, I consider everything Antoni Gaudi was responible-for Art at the highest possible level - despite his status as a mere architect. And I'd pay a thousand bucks for one of Oldenbergs napkin sketches but might not notice the 100 foot safety-pin that I'm walking under (unless the gyro-cart is parked there).