Write a book or paint a painting, and who knows whether it’ll still be around a few years later. But build a goddamned 100-ton bronze statue, and people will still be staring at that thing centuries from now. Which makes it all the more awesome when a sculptor creates a horrifying monument to his own insanity and gets it erected in city park or town square. Like …
The Baby Fighter – Oslo, Norway
Frogner Park in Oslo is a beautiful place. It is filled with a great number of statues that capture the beauty and grace of human anatomy in a way that has to be seen to be believed. Also, this statue of a naked man kicking the shit out of several babies.
What exactly is going on here? Is it … symbolic of something? Or, even better, is it memorializing an actual person? Did this used to be an Olympic event, and did this guy win the gold for Norway? Did they knock off points for having his dick out?
This baffling statue actually depicts four child-shaped “genii” spirits attacking a man. Or maybe only three of them are spirits, and he just happened to be doing his daily nude baby punt when they descended on him. Really, feel free to just write your own backstory here.
The Child Eater – Bern, Switzerland
Well now, this just seems unnecessarily horrible. This 16th-century piece is called “Kindlifresserbrunnen” (“Child Eater Fountain”) and is located in Bern, Switzerland. It is exactly as advertised – it appears to be stuffing a baby into its mouth, and is in possession of a sack containing three more for the road.
Popular consensus is that it’s just an old carnival sculpture meant to frighten kids, but that’s perhaps the most disturbing thing about this piece: nobody knows just who built it, or why.
The Awakening – Washington, D.C.
A number of iconic images are associated with Washington, D.C., the power capital of the world. The Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Hill are familiar to even the most casual moviegoer. But another monument in the city is a far more fitting analogy to the dogfight politics that take place behind every closed door of the city’s power elite — yet this one never seems to make it to the silver screen.
It’s an insane-looking 100-foot giant (is that Uncle Sam?) screaming its lungs out while struggling against the ground. Is this supposed to symbolize America, hopelessly struggling against quicksand? It’s called The Awakening, but we’re assuming that’s referring to the awakening of whatever subterranean creature is dragging the old man under.
Victoria’s Way Indian Sculpture Park
Walking through the lush green fields and forests of Ireland, one of the last things you might expect to stumble upon is a statue of a skeletal Buddha. Or another, of a child crawling out of the ground, trying to free itself from a rotting, skeletal fist. Or a man slicing himself down the middle . . . or how about another skeletal figure, draped in rags, eternally standing in swampy muck, and clearly failing in his struggle to get to the shore?
They’re all among the statues of the Indian Sculpture Park at Victoria’s Way, in County Wicklow, and they’re supposed to be representations of a person’s journey to fulfillment, self-realization, and a state of true being.
Cocozao – Ponta Grossa, Brazil
If you’re thinking this looks like a shit statue, a lot of people agree with you. But you’d be wrong. It’s also a shit fountain.
That mind-boggling, giant turd-on-a-stick is called Cocozao. It’s located in the unfortunate town of Ponta Grossa, and Google Translate tells us it’s actually supposed to represent a local tree called the Araucaria pine. For reference, here’s an Araucaria pine:
Yeah, Brazil. That’s totally what it is.
For the surprisingly large portion of our readers who are already packing for a pilgrimage to pay respects to the Ultimate Poop Joke, we regret to inform you that the people of Ponta Grossa finally came to their senses in 2009 and demolished the statue. As a small consolation, however, they opted to do it like this:
Totem, Leuven, Belgium
Belgian artist Jan Febre unveiled this piece in 2005, commemorating the 575th anniversary of the Catholic University at Leuven, Belgium. Dubbed “Totem” for some reason, it depicts a gigantic upside-down beetle impaled on a 75-foot needle, outside the University library.
This is supposed to represent the spirit of the city and the University somehow. We’re not art critics, so we’re not going to argue. but to us, it just looks like a serious warning to beetles for miles around.
Fountain of Virtues – Nuremberg
If there’s just one place in the world where you could safely take your pious old grandmother, it would no doubt be Nuremberg, the German town where some of the earliest bound Bibles were made and some really evil people were finally brought to justice. And what would be a better sight than the famous Nuremberg Fountain of Virtues, made all the way back in 1589, when an iron caster decided to make a fountain that represented the three theological and three cardinal virtues as women …
… NO, GRANDMA! DON’T LOOK!
Yes, who would have thought that the ultimate virtue in the 16th century was considered to be high-pressure lactation? Not you and your no-longer-in-Grandma’s-will ass, that’s for sure. And in case you think this was one random bad statue idea, head over to Bologna, Italy, and take a gander at the deceptively named Neptune fountain:
Bosc De Can Ginebreda
If you’ve ever wanted to walk through a sculpture park featuring a bizarre and very, very disturbing mix of erotica and pornography, with a fairy-tale feel—Bosc de Can Ginebreda is the vacation spot for you. Located in a juniper forest, about two hours north of Barcelona, Spain, the sculpture park is the work of one man: Xicu Cabanyes. His workshop is also on the property, so he’s constantly adding to his collection. It’s estimated that somewhere around 100 people every week come to walk between the giant stone hermaphrodites, sculptures of exaggerated individuals performing various acts, women in the middle of giving birth, and the occasional, non-pornographic piece.
The Kafka Museum Entrance – Prague
Prague clearly wanted the museum for its greatest author, Franz Kafka, to be something special. Which is why we have the above sculpture in the courtyard. If you think it looks like they’re pissing a pool in the shape of the Czech Republic, a simple look closer …
… says that’s exactly what you’re looking at.
This is the work of David Cerny, an artist hailed by half his peers as a controversial genius and scorned by the other half as an utter dickhole. This won’t be his only stop on this list.
The statues’ dongs are robotic, so they actually move. They piss shapes in the water, and you can also make them piss a phrase of your own by sending an SMS to a pay number. And Cerny got someone to agree to that. And by the way, this was not even his most ridiculous penis-related project. He was once very, very close to being able to make the Czech National Theatre look like this:
That piece was going to be called “Nation to Itself Forever,” a 30-foot golden man ejaculating steam at random intervals. It unfortunately got canceled just prior to installation, which we assume means Cerny was forced to pay up on a bet he made to another artist years ago about just how much shit he could get away with before someone stopped writing him checks.
Pigduck Of Turku – Finland
And speaking of hybrids, this is called “Posankka,” but just look at it. It’s either a pig-duck or a duck-pig, we’re not sure which. This insanity was created by artist Alvar Gullichsen in 1999, and was floated down the Aurajoki river. It’s been at its current location near the University of Turku since 2001.
According to the artist, it’s meant to be a criticism of modern gene-splicing technology, which actually sort of makes sense. Many residents are not too fond of the statue, probably because when you see one of the craziest things on the planet every day, life starts to lose its ability to surprise you.
Monument To Enemas
Enemas aren’t something that people tend to think about on a daily basis—and if they do, most won’t admit it. But everyone who walks by the Mashuk Akva-Term spa in Zheleznovodsk, Russia, is going to be thinking about it. In 2008, the spa unveiled a monument to the enema treatment—a treatment that’s very popular at their gastrointestinal-centered spa. The area is known for the cleansing value of their enemas, given with water from natural mineral springs that occur throughout the Caucasus Mountains.
The monument features three angelic cherubs, inspired by Renaissance painter Alessandro Botticelli (although we’re pretty sure that Botticelli never had his little cherubs hold an enema syringe bulb over their heads). The statue cost $42,000, and it was unveiled with a banner that read: “Let’s beat constipation and sloppiness with enemas.”
The Faceless Crawling Horror Babies – Prague
If you go to the park in Prague, you’ll occasionally see these big, bronze babies crawling around. OK, that’s … weird, we think, but definitely not all that insane. Oh, wait, here’s more of them covering the local TV tower like ants:
In case you’ve never suffered the symptoms of heroin withdrawal and still don’t see the problem, let’s try taking the camera up front, and get a view of their adorable little faces …
Those crawling nightmares are also the work of David Cerny, by the way.
The Point Pleasant Mothman
Point Pleasant, W.Va., is one of those innumerable sleepy, anonymous little towns that make up the heartland of America. And, where some towns would decorate the town square with a statue of George Washington or Jebediah Springfield, Point Pleasant has what appears to be Robo-Mothra, waiting to take on Godzilla.
Actually, that’s the no-less-stupid Mothman, a mythical creature rumored to live in an abandoned TNT factory near the town and linked to a centuries-old curse, as the townspeople (at least those who are willing to discuss this at all) will happily explain to you. And what better way to celebrate the town’s unique legend than a 12-foot-tall, silvery form made of red eyes and murder? And a manly thatch of chest hair?