Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bizarre Public Art

Corporate Head
Originally uploaded by olganunes
Reasonable minds can differ on whether bizarre sculpture is a beneficial use of public (or any) funds. I, for one, think the world could use a whole lot more of this kind of stuff. I grew up in Amarillo, Texas -- a place as famous for ten cadillacs buried nose-down in a row as anything else. In the shadow of the cadillacs, I've long witnessed a debate over bizarre public art. Does it pointlessly waste our time and resources benefitting only the creator's vanity, or is there merit in making an unsuspecting observer pause to ask himself "why?"?

I, for one, love encountering the unexpected in all media. I particularly enjoy the paradox created by casting whimsy in bronze. Seeing things like this remind me of a scene from one of my all-time favorite movies, The Jerk. Steve Martin's character has just discovered that he has rhythm by listening to Lawrence Welk on the radio. He dances through the house saying "this music speaks to me," and "if this is out there, imagine what else is out there!" I'm also reminded of that scene at the end of Magnolia, when, as the sky is literally raining frogs, a child stares out the window in marvel saying, "this happens; this exists." If there is a statue of a businessman with his head buried in a building, imagine what else is out there.

Here's a collection of whimsical and provocative public sculptures (link not suitable for work if your boss holds an unreasonable view toward mild bronze nudity).

Photo from olganunes's flickr set.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

i like art, too. imagine how this guy must have been laughing to himself the whole time while creating this.