The 10 most bizarre public sculptures
It is true that art can assume the most varied forms and contours. It is also known that its interpretation is absolutely open and dependent on the connoisseur. Therefore, is it wrong to catalogue an artwork as “bad art”, considering that this concept doesn’t even exist. Correct? The truth is, maybe not. We have selected some public “artworks”, with one thing in common: they are, at least, bizarre. We leave it to your interpretation if these statues, placed in public squares, demand to question some concepts.
1- Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, Jack Kershaw
We open this list with this amazing bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, visitable in Nashville. Appart from the purpose of the statue, itself, being questionable, since Forrest was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, whose ultimate goal was to prevent the social integration of newly released black people from the War of Succession, its materialization raises some doubts. Jack Kershaw, its author, who represented the assassin of Martin Luther King, was also a “sculptor” on his free time.
2- Abai Qunanbaiuli and Yevgeny Mikhaelis, Vladimir Samoylov
This statue was intended to be a tribute to a local philosopher, Abai Qunanbaiuli, and a Russian exile, Yevgeny Mikhaelis, placed in Oskemen, a city in the eastern of Kazakhstan. Understandably, the locals were displeased with the result, claiming that the two men seemed to be taking a selfie, and quickly arranged a nickname for the statue: “dwarfs with an iPhone.” The “monument” was removed one day after its public presentation.
3- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde, Maggi Hambling
‘A Conversation with Oscar Wilde‘ is a well known sculpture, presented to the public at Trafalgar Square, in London. After being formed a committee for the implementation of a statue in memory of Oscar Wilde, a public contest was launched for its effectiveness. Between suggestions from twelve artists, Maggi’s work was selected to be turned into a memorial. The problem, in addition to the obvious one? It has been included in a Telegraph’s article, titled ‘Sculptures I’d Love To Smash‘, focused on the issue of most public sculptures being terrible. It was not difficult for this sculpture to create emotions, specialy anger, with some people saying that the famous author seems to be emerging from the sea, like a scary creature, covered in algae.
4 – Spider Man, Eunsuk Yoo
Not only Cristiano Ronaldo ‘s statue has the privilege of being highlight because of this theme. Eunsuk Yoo also saw his work criticized, after installing the sculpture of Spiderman on a commercial space in South Korea. The situation becomes even more peculiar because, in fact, the mall ordered this artwork, with the specificity of being visible from the playground area. Although the statue has “survived” for a year, the space began receiving a lot of complaints, forcing Yoo to withdraw it (although it was given the option of simply “refresh” Spiderman).
5- Kindlifresserbrunnen, Hans Gieng
Do you think you are seeing children? Yes, you are! This statue, located in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, was built in 1545/46, and represents nothing more, nothing less, than an ogre devouring a child. Placed next to the ogre, there is a bag full of, guess what … more babies, ready to be devoured. Much has been speculated about this statue, but the tip of the ogre’s hat leads some to believe that this can be a representation of a Jew.
6- Boll Weevil Monument
This unusual statue was built in honor of the boll weevil, for its profound influence on agriculture and, consequently, economy. A plague of beetles attacked this region of Alabama, in the United States, destroying the entire cotton cultivation, but, instead of getting mad about it, the locals were quite thankful because the plague forced them to find alternative crops.
7- El Mesteno, Luis Jimenez
Denver’s entrance is guarded by a fearsome beast! The possessed and diabolical eyes from El Mesteno, placed at Denver’s airport, worthed this creature the nickname of ‘Horse Zombie’. This imposing 10 meters high, and blue steel horse has frightened all the superstitious population, starting with the fact that the statue had killed his own sculptor. Part of the structure fell on Jimenez.
8- Gustav Vigeland
The Frogner Park, in Oslo, is one of the places with more statues of exaltation of the beauty and grace of the human anatomy. Except for the man fighting with babies … The idea of this statue was to portray spirits that torment the man. But for some reason, the spirits were represented by naked babies, and the message that the human is capable of overcoming himself, was represented by punches and kicks.
9- Untitled, David Cerny
For this bronze sculpture, installed at the entrance of ‘The Kafka Museum’, we will just quote the words of the author:
“The idea is disarmingly simple. Two bronze sculptures pee into their oddly-shaped enclosure.
While they are peeing, the two figures move realistically. An electric mechanism driven by a couple of microproccesors swivels the upper part of the body, while the penis goes up and down. The stream of water writes quotes from famous Prague residents.
Visitor can interupt them by sending SMS message from mobile phone to a number, displayed next to the sculptures. The living statue then ‘writes’ the text of the message, before carrying on as before.”
10- Fountain of Neptune, Tommaso Laureti e Giambologn
This fountain was built to mark the election of Pius IV as Pope, and was completed in 1567. There is nothing strange about the figure of Neptune, placed on the top of this imposing structure, but we can not say the same about the women on the base . Although it is not entirely unusual to see jets positioned in strategic locations of the female body, the hands of this sculptures make this one kind of bizarre.