14 Weirdest Sculptures From Around The World
Art is subjective. Whether you are looking at a famous painting, an abstract sculpture or an old drawing, your interpretation will be different from others. This is especially true when it comes to sculptures. While many are human-shaped or resemble objects we know, this is not always the case. There are weird and wonderful sculptures that have been created to challenge people’s opinions. Others make a statement on certain political or social issues. And some are just plain weird. This is what this article will focus on. The strangest sculptures from around the world.
These strange and sometimes controversial sculptures appear in places all over the world. From giant shuttlecocks in Kansas City to peeing statues in Prague, there’s something for everyone on this list.
1. Bull fart sculpture (Beijing, China)
Yes, it’s a statue of a farting bull. The brainchild of artist Chen Wenling, bull fart sculpture was first exhibited in a Beijing art gallery in 2009. It is meant to depict the financial crisis, with the bull pinning a man to the wall. The man in question, who has horns like the devil, is believed to represent Bernard Madoff, the infamous con man responsible for one of the biggest frauds in American financial history. It is certainly an eye-catching sculpture unlike anything you are likely to see in your local art gallery.
2. Piss (Prague, Czech Republic)
This outdoor sculpture by David Cerny depicts two men relieving themselves. Not only are they created to look like they are urinating, but they actually pull water out of their penises. This is one of the weirdest laws you will come across in Prague, known for its weird artwork. The basin in which the two six-foot, 11-inch bronze statues stand is shaped like the Czech Republic, with the statues literally pissing on their country. What’s even weirder is that you can command men to write messages in the water via text. Weird. Prague Post even ranked it number one on their list of “10 weirdest statues in Prague”.
3. Silent Evolution (Cancún, Mexico)
This underwater experience is a must for anyone visiting Cancun, Mexico. The Underwater Art Museum contains over 500 sculptures by several different artists, all found underwater. It is the largest underwater art installation in the world. One of the most exciting sections of the museum is The silent evolution by Jason of Cairo. The British sculptor uses real life models to create sculptures of people doing normal things, such as a man watching TV and a group of people holding hands in a circle. It really is an amazing thing to see, with The silent evolution occupying 420 square meters and having a total weight of more than 200 tons.
4. Travelers (Port of Marseille-Fos, France)
These statues are the creation of surrealist artist Bruno Catalano. The bronze statues resemble normal humans, except that large parts of their bodies are missing. The travellersalso known as The travellers, consists of ten individual statues, each holding a case of some description. Catalano said he believes each of us leaves a piece of who we are when we leave somewhere, which these statues depict. There is also a deeper meaning linked to the loss experienced by migrants when they leave their homes. You can read more about these strange and fascinating sculptures here.
5. The Big Giving (London, UK)
This absurd collection of sculptures contains six strange statues in various poses. One seems to go to the toilet, another pours water on his head, while a third vomits in a projectile. All the statues, which look like heaps of dirt with human heads and limbs, draw water from some sort of orifice. The most compelling is the water-vomiting statue, while the pissing one is also quite alarming. The German artist behind this abstract creation calls it The great gift whatever that means. There’s little context given to Klaus Weber’s sculpture, so try to figure out what it all represents.
6. Landmark (Melbourne, Australia)
Located on the Bundoora campus of La Trobe University, this statue of famous British leader Charles La Trobe is erected upside down. La Trobe’s head is slightly buried in the ground with the base in the air. It’s quite odd and was designed by Melbourne sculptor Charles Robb. Officially called Landmark, the monument stands 16 feet tall and is made from an assortment of materials. The question of why it is upside down is a good one. There are many different interpretations, with Robb himself saying that “the statue embodies the idea that universities should turn ideas around”.
7. Pi-Chacan (Tübingen, Germany)
Otherwise known as the Stone Vagina, this unusual sculpture is, you guessed it, a vagina. Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara erected the telltale monument in 2001 on the grounds of the Institute of Microbiology and Virology at the University of Tübingen. Resembling a woman’s vulva, the installation is made of red Verona marble and cost a whopping €120,000 (about US$130,300). This famous statue is meant to celebrate the body or something like that. It caught global media attention in 2014 when an American exchange student got stuck inside. Five fire engines and 22 firefighters were called to free the young man. It took them half an hour, but the anonymous student was finally able to escape unscathed if slightly embarrassed.
8. Walk to Heaven (Texas, USA)
This outdoor sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky was first installed at Rockefeller Center in 2004. The work features several different people climbing a 100-foot-tall stainless steel pole. The pole is placed at an angle of 75 degrees, with people like a businessman, a young girl and a student show walking along the pole. The artwork is inspired by a story Borofsky’s father used to tell him about a father and son who traveled to the sky to talk to a friendly giant. He describes the play as “a celebration of human potential to discover who we are and where we need to go”. Well, it’s certainly eye-catching and easily one of the weirdest sculptures in the United States.
9. Traffic Light Tree (London, UK)
This popular sculpture is a set of traffic lights fused together to form a tree-like structure. The man responsible is the French sculptor Pierre Vivant. His creation was the winner of a competition organized by the Public Art Commissions Agency for the London Docklands Development Corporation. The 26-foot-tall sculpture contains 75 sets of lights, each controlled by a computer. Although interesting to see during the day, it is at night, when the lights shine and flash, that this sculpture really comes to life.
Explaining his vision, Vivant said: “The sculpture mimics the natural landscape of the adjacent London plane trees, while the changing pattern of lights reveals and reflects the endless rhythm of surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activity.
10. Ruffles (Kansas City, USA)
This art installation is made up of four giant shuttlecocks. Located around the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, these huge steering wheels stand 18 feet tall and are made of aluminum and fiberglass. The idea came from the husband and wife team of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen who were inspired by a painting displayed inside the museum. Although there were some concerns about the installation at first, it is now one of the main reasons people visit the museum.
11. Wursa (Paris, France)
Here is another of the weirdest sculptures you will ever see. Creation of the contemporary French artist Daniel Firman, this strange statue represents an elephant balanced on its trunk. It is supposed to represent the elephant in balance 18,000 km above the earth. To make the elephant as realistic as possible, Firman spoke with a professional taxidermist to get the texture of the elephant’s skin. It is a striking exhibit and remains Firman’s most popular piece.
12. The Buttplug Gnome (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Although The Buttplug Gnome is not the official name of this statue (he is usually called Santa Claus), it is not difficult to see why it has this name. Designed by Paul McCarthy, this naughty statue stands in the city center of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It’s basically Santa Claus holding a butt plug or a dildo, depending on how you look at it. McCarthy is known for putting an explicit spin on Christmas designs, with one of his most jaw-dropping creations.
13. Fremont Troll (Seattle, USA)
This public sculpture is a tourist attraction located under the George Washington Memorial Bridge. The monument was created by four artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead. The area where it is built was once run down and attracted nefarious types, with the council hoping the sculpture would bring the area back to life, which it did. The troll has a VW in his hand that looks like he grabbed it straight from the road above.
14. Statue of Franz Kafka (Prague, Czech Republic)
This statue by artist Jaroslav Róna is in memory of the writer Franz Kafka. The Prague-born novelist and short story writer is considered one of the great literary talents of the 20th century. His writing is quite surreal, which matches this statue inspired by him. It depicts Kafka riding on the shoulders of a headless figure. It is supposed to represent his famous story from 1912 Description of a fight. It’s not the only Kafka sculpture in Prague, with David Cerny also erecting a 36-foot tall head resembling Kafka. This structure has 42 rotating stainless steel panels that reflect light at different angles.