Ain’t No Bull Frog

A frog nailed to a cross with a beer mug and an egg in it’s hands has caused quite a commotion in the mountains of Northern Italy. The sculpture is by German artist Martin Kippenberge and the locals are none too happy. The reason it seems is it is too close to the Pope’s summer holiday house. Local Catholics have deemed the little amphibian a “public obscenity” and want it taken out of the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art. Does this mean Pope Benedict is intending to visit the museum? Bless. The problem has grown to aquatic proportions as Bishop of Bolzano and Bressanone,revealed that he had discussed the sculpture with the Pope.Hmm too much time on his hands! Could it get any better ? You bet. The Union for South Tyrol, a separatist group, collected 10,000 signatures for a petition demanding the removal of the crucified froggy and Franz Pahl, the president of Trentino-Alto Adige regional council, has gone on hunger strike in protest over the exhibit. If people only had this type of passion over war and famine!
Oh and if you think it’s the first time the Bolzano Museum has been in trouble, think again. About two years ago the Bolzano museum hit the headlines by displaying a work of art consisting of a toilet flushing to the accompaniment of Italy’s national anthem.


I Come From A Land Down Under

What is a Brisbane council to do when a vandal goes and paints a vagina on a statue PINK? Remove it quick. But the poor old council are under attack for being prudish. Prior to the statue receiving a paint job, the council was already praying the controversial statue (which depicts a naked woman lying in a fetal position with her genitals exposed) would just disappear. Antone Bruinsma’s Birth of Venus statue, which was commissioned by the former Caboolture Shire,  was deemed “offensive to women” by the new amalgamated one. So I guess they were rather pleased that someone went and dolloped the privates in bright pink. It wouldn’t be a council member now would it ?
Evidently attempts to clean the paint off failed. Pity the fool that got that job! So the council made an executive decision to remove the sculpture completely from the park, as they believe it will be a sitting duck for future acts of vandalism. Hmm the artist’s respond to the council throwing naked pink lady into storage “I feel it’s insulting to women to remove a vulva because of somebody’s attitude.” Bless

Dear God, What Next ?

I’ve heard it all now, an art gallery at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead is being taken to court because one of their exhibitions displayed a statue of Jesus with an erection. Holy indecency. The main argument in the prosecution is “had the statue been of Mohammad rather than Christ, there would have been a far greater outcry”. I am thinking Yes ( ain’t that right Salman ?). The culprit is controversial artist, Terence Koh, who also included Mickey Mouse and ET with erections in the exhibition (but they escaped the wrath). Hmm the maximum fine for outraging public decency is six months prison and a £5,000 fine. Gee, if that is the case imagine how many sculptors we could get off the streets!

Legacy Continues to Beg

Legacy Statue, Melbourne.

Legacy Statue, Melbourne.

Sometimes things just don’t make any sense. In April I wrote a post about the Kings Park boards refusal to allow a legacy statue to be erected in the War Memorial precinct of King Park. After public outcry on several talk back radio programs I just assumed the situation would be resolved, especially as Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has a similar statue taking pride of place next to the Shrine and much loved The Man and the Donkey statue. They even went so far as to place the statue in a beautiful rose garden. So imagine my surprise today when I listen to the radio and found that the problem had not been resolved. In fact the Kings Park Board have given them three locations in which they can erect the statue, which frankly I find unacceptable (and are no where near the precinct). I can not imagine any Digger having an issue with having a statue erected on behalf of Legacy. It is such a shame. I think the board should consult the RSL or at least the Diggers about anything concerning the War Memorial Precinct. Which, lets face it , is for the people who gave of themselves to protect this country. LEST WE FORGET!

Bon Scott – Would You Like Fries With That ?

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

You know I wrote a blog entry months ago asking if anyone knew where the hell the Bon Scott statue was in Fremantle, after all the pomp and ceremony. Well, I patiently waited for an announcement of its long awaited unveiling, only to discover it has already been unveiled, at Cicerello’s . Yes, that’s right, but before you get too excited I must warn you it isn’t outside but inside (I couldn’t make this up). Hmm, I am sure Bon Scott would see the funny side of his memorial location. A “fish n chip” shop really doesn’t seem to be that fitting for a rock icon. I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Does this mean instead of having a beer with Bon I will have to have Barramundi ?

So, who is to blame for this injustice ? I have a sneaking suspicion local council weren’t exactly shaking all night long with the thought of Bon gracing the streets of their fair city. But in a Fish n Chips shop (no offense to Cicerellos) ! Surely one of the pubs could have plonked him near the bar ?

Blinking Billy Point

From the State that gave you Man Mountain now presents, Blinking Billy Point, a bigger and better controversial piece of public art. Yes, Tasmania or more precisely Hobart City Council have found themselves facing the wrath of angry locals, including the indigenous community after announcing a $300,000 sculpture will be erected on the Sandy Bay foreshore. The 10 m high stainless steel cylindrical creation is said to represent a lighthouse and an Aboriginal campfire at night. The Aboriginal community are up in arms because they were not consulted about it and the local residents are upset because it looks like, well, a 10m high stainless steel cylinder. So far 400 hundred names have been added to a petition circulating in the area. Stay tuned it is about to become a Blinking Sore Point.

Emerging in Atlanta

Emerging Sculpture

Next time you sight a neglected piece of public art spare a thought for the artist (it is their reputation on display too). Once a piece has been completed, the sculptor can only hope that his or her work of art will be cared for and nurtured by the forces that be. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Take the Emerging sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia, for example. Sculptor and artist Mark Smith is passionate about his work and is more than a little annoyed that his sculpture has been neglected to the point that it has lost its original meaning. Mark has gone to extraordinary lengths to get help in restoring the Emerging (which by the way is one of my favorite sculptures in Atlanta) only to be told it really isn’t their responsibility. Disillusioned by the whole thing he is now trying to raise money to restore it himself, shame. The park adjacent to his sculpture has been given a full makeover but it seems there just isn’t enough money in the coffers for a little TLC on his sculpture. I visited Atlanta in 2007 and grabbed some snaps of it for my website, unaware that it was in such a terrible state. Despite this I thought it was the most exciting and thought provoking of the public art I saw. I guess Mark was horrified when he discovered I had included the neglected piece on my website (Public Art Around The World) and contacted me. After watching a presentation of the before and after of Emerging it is no wonder Mark is fighting to have the sculpture restored. Placed in a prominent and busy intersection the people and motorists of Atlanta deserve more and should be treated to the real Emerging with all its reflective power. Check out Mark Smiths website and watch his presentation.

No Legacy in Kings Park!

It seems the bureaucrats are at it again, yes it has just been announcedNo Legacy Statue in Kings Park that the Kings Park Board have rejected an application for a statue to be erected in the War Memorial precinct of the park. Now, one would assume that the application was for some horrific eyesore. But alas no, the application was from the Perth Legacy group to have a statue, not unlike the one that so proudly stands next the Melbourne’s shrine of Remembrance, to be placed near the main War Memorial. A small statue of a widow women with her two small children doesn’t seem like too much to ask, considering the role Legacy plays in helping the widows, widowers and children of deceased members of our armed services. Presently the organisation is looking after 7,500 thousand widows/widowers and their children. Legacy provides financial & medical support and accommodation if needed and have been helping families in Western Australia since the 1920’s.
Now wait for it, the boards reasoning was that the statue wasn’t suitable for the designated area. I think the Government should take a long hard look at all these boards who are supposedly representing the people of Perth!

Bon Scott Statue: The Long Wait

Why are we waiting ? It took 28 years to finally have a monument erected to ACDC, frontman, Bon Scott. We had all the hulabuloo of the unveiling at a special Acca Dacca concert, the media have continually announced that the statue would be unveiled in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour after the event, now all I want to know is where the hell is it? Are we Back in Black? It is nearly a MONTH since the “concert” and a hush has descended. AND to make matters worse I have asked just about every restaurant and ice cream parlor at the harbor where it is or where it going to be and they look at me like I just stepped off an alien spacecraft. One poor soul shook his head and said, so many people have asked me that question and I have absolutely no idea, no one has told us ANYTHING!

Get your act together Freo or get some press releases out. How on earth can we ” have a beer with Bon”?

Three good reasons why public art shouldn’t be yellow

Big Banana

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Peril

Need I say More…The Big Banana, the Yellow Submarine and the Yellow Peril are three really good reasons for a sculptor never to choose that hue (ever). The Big Banana was shunted around the State of Western Australia before eventually becoming the lame icon for Carnarvon (the banana capital of WA), the Yellow Submarine became a piece of public art because nobody else knew what to call it and the Yellow Peril (god bless) created one of the greatest public art outcries in modern history. So horrified were the Melbournites, that the Yellow Peril was dismantled in the middle of the night and removed to a park, where it became an instant hit with the homeless.