Art exists to be contemplated, an aesthetic philosopher might say, but how it grabs that attention might not by through sheer elegance, austerity, grace, refinement, and exultation of the sublime. Consider your classmates back in high school: was it just the lookers who got attention? Not at all, but the freaks, loudmouths, and the frankly bizarre got their fair share of attention as well. Along the same line, if art is to be successful, if it is to grab the spotlight and get contemplated, and talked about it, it might choose the strategy of being simply different, surprising, strange, controversial, or bizarre.
In that light, consider these ten sculptures from around the world that seem a bit weird.
The Magic Tap (see top image), of Aqualand, Cadiz, Spain offers the illusion of pouring endless water with no source. In fact, like a charity worker, the source of its flow is in the direction it pours: a pipe is hidden in the stream of water to suspend it and give it water.
Madame Chapeau, of Brussels, Belgium, may not seem so strange, but consider that the artist was granted a space on a street famous for its pickpockets. This brass woman brazenly counting her cash with a hefty wallet taunts would-be pickpockets.
La Trobe, of Melbourne Australia, which represents Charles Trobe of Melbourne, may be as much of a commentary as a startling visual inversion.
Melting Cow, of Budapest Hungary, looks like a combination of blue cow and melting popsicle, a strange conflation of images, perhaps a visual pun of the “cream pop.”
Vigelands Parken, of Oslo, Norway, probably has a story to explain the bizarre and surreal image of apparent child abuse. With such figures as Saturn, who devoured his children in myth, already a regular in classical art, I suppose such imagery is not without precedent, but it is still bizarre.
The Hanging Rhino of Potsdam Germany is realistic enough to make this onlooker cringe a little, to stand below it.
De Vaartkapoen, of Brussels Belgium, show a young rebel, the Vaartkapoen, tripping up a policeman.
Man at Work of Bratislava smiles on with a good-natured grimace, and seems to be one of the many people either on their way to work or stopping a minute between chores.
The Thumb, of Paris France, may perhaps suggest something deep and profound, but on the other hand (literally?) it is just an oversized thumb coming out of the ground.
Eating a Biscuit Together, of Seoul, Korea, features a park bench cleverly turned into a dinner; the mixture of the utilitarian (a bench) and the artistic make the bench a sort of fun hands on work.