While my last post focused on painting, this one pertains to sculpture, another medium of artistic expression. Yet, as seen with the above picture of the late Boniface Wimmer, the founder of my college alma mater, sculpture can be found everywhere and are seen all over the place. For instance, Pittsburgh has a lot of statues of dinosaurs for some reason and not just in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History or the Carnegie Museum of Art. They also have plenty of dinosaurs outside that could be dressed a doctor or businessman. There’s even a T-Rex in the same attire of Mr. Rogers (Yes, he has his own dinosaur there and at Saint Vincent College since Latrobe was his hometown, look it up.) Still, enough with the local sculpture scene but I’m illustrating a point here. Yet, they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes from something you can hold in your hand, to ones larger than buildings which you can get inside of. And they can be cast in bronze, carved from marble, or from plenty of other materials. Yet, in this post I’m not going to talk about the great sculpting masterpieces. Instead, I’m focusing on works that should be recognized for sheer badness that they could be considered funny. So without further adieu, here are some of the tacky sculpture worthy of recognition. (I’m also keeping names anonymous here as well so will be the locations. Also, may contain some improper imagery.)
1. Bad Dog
Nothing expresses a male dog’s urge disregard for civilization than a giant one peeing on a building.
2. Burnside Fountain or “Turtle Boy Love Statue”
Now what kind of sick demented artist could ever come up with this idea? This is kind of depraved or so it seems. And who in their mind could ever think of having this on display? Then again, sure is a good way to attract tourists and earn notoriety.
3. Washington as Zeus
Because it’s seems very unsettling to see the Father of his Country sporting a toga and a six pack. For God’s sake even the Lincoln Memorial statue depicts “The Great Emancipator” in his own period appropriate clothes.This is a very famous piece by the way and part of the Classical style at the time, but still.
4. Mel Gibson as William Wallace
Sure William Wallace was a great Scottish hero but no one seemed to get around with giving him a statue until after Braveheart. Of course, the reasons are obvious.
5. Ballerina Man
Part clown, part ballerina, this statue will not only give your kids nightmares but also make it impossible to determine the figure’s gender.
6. El Mesteno
Giant horse statue- majestic. Giant blue horse statue- weird but all right. Giant blue horse statue with demonic red eyes – terrifying.
7. Boll Weevil Monument
Nothing makes your town more memorable than having a statue depicting an agricultural pest as a sacred animal.
A kind of monument that could be mistaken for something the Galactic Empire would erect to remind everyone else that they run your planet now.
9. Mr. Rogers
Somehow this statue of Mr. Rogers doesn’t really do justice to his good neighbor reputation. I mean a bronze cast of him tends to make him better suited for a Tim Burton movie than the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
10. Blue Longhorn Bull
Complete with extra long horns and a steady diet of shrooms. Did I mention the horns and hooves were silver?
11. Fighting Stallion Monument
Is it just me, or do those two horses don’t seem to be fighting for some reason? Reminds me more of a horse version of Brokeback Mountain to me.
12. Man Hanging Out
Now really, why would anyone think of creating a hanging man statue and then suspending him over the street? I wonder how many tourists are told by police, “Don’t worry, he’s not committing suicide. He’s always been like that since he was cast in bronze.”
13. Melting Cow
Now this has to be influenced by a hallucinogenic drug induced surrealist dream. Or do cows actually melt when they hit the ground?
Believe it or not, it’s said to represent the Araucaria Pine. Looks like a giant turd on a stick. Did I mention it’s a fountain?
Said to by a mythological creature rumored to live in a dynamite factory under a centuries old curse. Still, most people might see it as a robotic man moth version of a Godzilla adversary.
16. Peter the Great
When I’m on a boat isn’t good enough. Still, as iconic as Peter the Great was for a Russian Czar, this statue is just plain ugly as well as an imposing eyesore. Good God, who was crazy enough to design this? Then again, czars were ruthless autocratic monarchs and Peter was a bit nuts.
Serpent Aztec God of Humanity, large snake, or giant dog turd?
18. Peace Statue
Because nothing is a better personification of peace than a naked stand-in for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
19. Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
This woman was famous for being the wife of King George III, mother of George IV and William IV, and gave birth to fifteen kids, as well as grandmother to Queen Victoria. She has plenty of royal descendants all over the European royal families as well as a city in North Carolina named after her. Yet, here she’s depicted as a lizard queen.
20. The Giant Spider
Now how would any agoraphobe would want to go to work having to see this every day? Not very pleasant. Also, who ever thought of erecting a statue of something that is more appropriate for a horror movie?
21. The Struggle Against World Terrorism
Is it just me but does this statue seem to resemble what one 9/11 survivor called “a cross between a scar and a female sex organ?” And this was erected to honor 9/11 victims?
22. Walter Johnson
Nicknamed “Big Train” and famed for being the greatest pitcher in baseball history, this statue depicts him as a four armed character more suited for a video game or the X-Men.
23. General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate hero on a golden horse and all out nutcase from this statue. Also, doesn’t help that he’s said to have found the KKK and may have ordered a massacre of Union soldiers.
24. Bl. Father Junipero Serra OFM
Sure this guy may be on the road to sainthood but I can’t help but wonder if he’s the mascot of the San Diego Padres.
25. Tugendbrunnen or “Fountain of the Virtues”
Sure this may be a famous fountain designed during the Renaissance but look closer and you see this may be more appropriate adorning the Renaissance equivalent of The Playboy Mansion than any public square. And yet this is a public fountain.
26. Bl. Pope John Paul II
Of course, what better way to honor the late Holy Father who helped bring down Communism than this bronze statue of him with a head almost like Mussolini and barely anything underneath his long flowing cloak? This is what the Vatican calls “a permanent and sacrilegious mud stain” on the late pope’s memory. Sacrilegious or not, it sure is an ugly example of minimalistic modern art.
27. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sure Martin Luther King Jr. was a great civil rights leader who helped end racial segregation in the South. Yet, I’m not sure if an appropriate way to honor him would be putting his bust on a large silver ball.
28. Vigelands Parken Man Kicking Babies
Sure this may be some legendary figure in Norway, but what reason would anyone want to see a statue of a naked man hurting babies? This is sick! What do you mean the tykes are evil genii? Still, doesn’t make it right.
29. WWII Memorial Statue
Or as I’d like to call it “Mean Man of the Mountain.”
30. Mother Motherland
She may be the personification of Mother Russia but she is sure fierce and can kill you like the Russian winter or the KGB.
Those are some pretty wild statues. To each his own I guess!
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– Arman Grigorian.