Truly Appalling

Mountain Man/Man MountainMountain Man/Man MountainMountain Man/Man MountainMountain Man/Man Mountain

I am pretty much lost for words on this one…. This is what the Mountain Man/Man Mountain plaque says…
“Mountain Man/Man Mountain eulogises and mythologises the landscape and people of the Great Western Tiers. He has been cast in concrete and clad with shimmering coloured glass mosaics. Mountain Man’s lips offer a seat to passer-by, highlighting his functionality as a piece of sculptural furniture.”

I kid you not. God only knows what the Great Western Tiers people did to deserve this ! Horrifying isn’t it…would you sit on it’s lips? It looks like an evil urinal. The artist obviously had connections to get this approved.

It reminds me of another horrifying attempt at public art, the Fred and Mary Tree Stumps

Mary Tree Stump

And we all know what happened to FRED !!!!!

IFred Tree Stump

Click here for the full story of Fred and Mary Tree Stumps.

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Who’s A Naughty Boy Then ?

King Edward VII StatueKing Edward VII, also known as “Tum Tum”, was Queen Victoria’s son. He, like Prince Charles, was kept waiting to become king, by a very healthy mother. In fact poor old Tum Tum holds the record for the longest heir apparent. When Edward finally took the throne in 1902 he soon became a popular King, despite his indiscretions with numerous women. One of the king’s last mistress’s was believed to have been socialite Alice Keppel, none other than Camilla Parker Bowles great grandmother (apples don’t fall far…). Rumor has it Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was the illegitimate daughter of Edward. Now wont that will give you something to think about next time you see a Edward VII statue?

I Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Denver, Moo Means the World To UsIs everyone familiar with CowParade? If not let me fill you in. CowParade is a charity event, boasting to be the “largest Public Art event in the world”. The general gist is if comes to your city, you get hundreds of 60kg fibre glass cows to decorate and then auction off for charity. Usually the city invites celebrities and artists to decorate the beasts as that usually raises more money (and interest). Now this event is nothing to be sneezed at, it raises millions of dollars and travels all over the world. But the event also has its fair share of controversy, David “Twin Peaks” Lynch’s cow was rejected in the New York cow parade, deemed too gruesome. It had knives and forks in its back and no head.

However the biggest controversy happened in Stockholm, Sweden when one of the cows was kidnapped. A Swedish organization calling themselves The Militant Graffiti Artists of Stockholm claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and sent a video to the local new station. The militants appeared in the footage with the “hooded” cow, demanding that the organizers of the Cow Parade declare the event “non art”. Evidently the group were none too impressed with the blatant advertising sprawled all over the fibreglass cows. Needless to say their demands were ignored and the cow was decapitated. I told you I couldn’t make this up! Nobody was ever charged with this brutally funny crime.

If you spot one of these CowParade cows in your neighborhood let me know. There has got to be thousands of them around the world, but where are they ?  I spotted one old cow in Denver.

Dog Gone

Larry La TrobeIt’s 1995, Melbourne, Australia, pedestrians are making their way through the busy streets to work, its rush hour. Then somebody screams. Everyone stops and turns. Larry la Trobe is gone. The city icon, a small bronze dog, has been stolen , despite being anchored to the pavement with 30 cm bolts. A distraught City of Melbourne Council launch a ‘return Larry’ campaign, but to no avail. The dog has simply vanished.

As days fall into months the people of Melbourne realize the pooch ain’t coming back.

A sadness descends over the metropolis. Peter Kolliner, the owner of the foundry where Larry was created, casts the largest shadow of them all. So upset by the theft, he offers to recast the mutt. Pamela Irving, the sculptor, adds a few color changes, making it identifiable in case of another mishap before the new and improved Larry La Trobe is unveiled. The day was highlighted by a band playing “Larry Come Home – a dogumentary” to the tune of Advanced Australia Fair ( I kid you not). More on Larry La Trobe here.

Welcome To Public Art Around The World

Welcome to my blog.

A few month ago I decided to build a website on Public Art around the world, I know a brave and bold move on my part. But over the years I had collected an enormous amount of images of statues, monuments and sculptures from every corner of the globe. Being in the media I knew one day these images would come in handy. My objective was to build an impressive site of public art backed up with detailed research on each piece. Public art is a great way to follow and learn history. Someone is always erecting a statue to someone and I figured if they took all that time and effort to create it, the person they are honoring must have done something pretty important, right?.
Then after a few years of collecting these images I began taking photos of the plaques on the statues and soon realized some people did take a lot of time and effort on people who “weren’t” so special after all. Some pieces of work just would never find their way onto the World Wide Web (check out the Fred and Mary Tree Stumps if you don’t believe me) let alone the local rags. So anyway I began to do a little research and before long I discovered an amazing thing. More intriguing than the Da Vinci Code, more controversial than the magic bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. Public Art has more scandal, controversy, conspiracy, theft and bitching than even the National Enquirer. I was hooked. You can go all they way back to ancient times, when they were wearing nothing more than a toga and thongs, and discover some sort of scandal about a statue. Unfortunately in those times it wasn’t at all that rare to be bumped off for art. Either by a rival artist or by an unhappy (usually fat and ugly) Emperor who didn’t like what he saw. The public were also so much more involved and vocal way back then, especially about what went up in their neighborhood. One little slip and your fountain became the local laundry hangout, just go ask Bartolomeo Ammannati. In just about every case I have an earthed a funny, bizarre or simply crazy story involving a statue or sculpture. More often than not the person represented in the sculpture has a deep and sometimes sordid past.

So in writing content for my website I had a dilemma, a snag if you like.
I couldn’t really write what I felt like writing because, since I am creating a serious site (sort of), I didn’t really want to offend. There is no nice way of writing your sculpture has ended up becoming a local shelter for the homeless (don’t laugh it happened in Melbourne, Australia) nor could I delve too deeply into some of the “so-called” rumors .
So my solution was to get myself a Word Press blog.

If you would like to find out what piece of Public Art was held hostage by a militant group, which statues have disappeared off the face of the earth, or even if you simply want to have a laugh just keep on visiting my blog. One stop gossip shop for public art.