Public Art From Around the World

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Pumpkin – Yayoi Kusama

Art is not only museums or canvases hanging on walls in glass. But iconic public art is everywhere, and it engages passers-by to evoke an emotional response, spark thought, and promote discussion. It can unite cultures or cause divisions.

These days, public art has become an Instagram attraction that makes it easy to share it digitally. Street art exists on the walls in every city. All over the world there are famous sculptures and outstanding works that are universally recognizable. And that makes them iconic landmarks. Today we want to show our readers some of the most famous public art in the world and the stories behind it.

Les Voyageurs – Bruno Catalano

It’s hard not to notice Bruno Catalano’s collection of sculptures called Les Voyageurs. Considered a citizen of the world, Bruno Catalano appropriately placed his series of notable installations around the port of Marseille in France. The sculptures, which appear to be missing organs and various parts of their body, allow the viewer to question the moment and movement between leaving and staying.

The Shoes – Can Togay and Gyula Pauer

The Shoes that sit along the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary is may be one of the most notable installations. It was made to honor the Jews who were ruthlessly murdered during World War II by the fascist Arrow Cross militia who worked alongside the Nazi regime. The Nazi police ordered 20,000 Jews to take off their shoes and sit on the banks of the river so that their bodies would fall into the water and swim away after being shot.

Now, 60 pairs of shoes made of iron line the shore to commemorate the fallen victims, making people remember what grief the ideas of nationalism, racial and national superiority lead to, which unfortunately still exist in many countries.

Cloud Gate – Anish Kapoor

Cloud Gate is a massive and reflective stainless steel sculpture in the heart of Chicago’s Millennium Park. It is known to most as “the Bean.” The bean-shaped piece of art has become a major tourist attraction. Reflecting the skyline and, in fact, the clouds, Cloud Gate debuted in 2004 and continues to be one of the iconic landmarks in Chicago.

Metropolis – David Cerney

The 42-layer sculpture by David Czerny stands upright to portray the tormented personality of Jewish novelist and short story writer Franz Kafka. In Kafka’s work, realism has merged with fantasy, and this juxtaposition is felt through the kinetic movement of the stainless steel sculpture parts, which rotate in typical Czerny style.

First Generation – Chong Fah Cheong

On the banks of the Singapore River, it will be hard not to notice the five bronze boys of Chong Fa Cheong jumping into the water. Chong’s sculptures are reminiscent of playful days in the past that tell the story of Singapore’s once simpler pleasures.

Maman – Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois led avant-garde movements in the 20th century and used her notable installations. Bourgeois depicts the ups and downs of motherhood through Maman, an ambitious almost 30-foot spider sculpture that looks like it’s trying to find balance on its skinny, unsteady legs, which stands outside of the Guggenheim.

Pumpkin – Yayoi Kusama

Pumpkin is a public domain piece of pop art created by one of the most famous Japanese artists, Yayoi Kusama. You’ll spot the work of art as you arrive to the Miyanoura Port by ferry. The yellow pumpkin sits in striking and unexpected opposition to the island’s surrounding water. 

In conclusion, we would like to say that you do not need to be an expert in the field of art to recognize, enjoy and admire all the works of art around the world. From graffiti to massive sculptures, notable installations, public parks and architectural feats, public art continues to infuse cities with hope and tell the stories of history and humanity in an emotionally touching and physically immersive way.

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