The World’s Best Works of Contemporary Public Art
Public art can be tricky business. In the wrong hands, it becomes just another part of the corporate milieu, or succumbs to heavy-handed propaganda. But done right, it adds something memorable to the city- or landscape in which it resides. It informs, inspires, entertains, sends an unexplained chill down the spine.
Here are nine of our favorite works currently on display around the world. Note that only permanent installations have been included here, with one interesting exception, and that all are on display free of charge.
Click through the slide show to see all nine works…
First Generation, by Chong Fah Cheong
Public art that inspired joy without any cheese or heavy-handedness is a rare thing indeed. This example, on the Singapore River, depicts life in simpler times. | photo credit Kenshuin Blog
Floralis Generica, by Eduardo Catalano
This enormous floral sculpture in Buenos Aires opens and closes as each day begins and ends.
Freedom Sculpture, by Zenos Frudakis
Described by the artist as a representation of the struggle to break free with creativity, you can feel the movement in this perfectly frozen-in-time shape--to be found in Philly.
Life Underground by Tom Otterness
8th Avenue in New York City is easily my favorite subway station, thanks to the more than 100 brass figurines scattered about that make up this cartoon-like representation of city life. | Photo credit the Metropolitan Transit Authority
The Red Ball Project, by Kurt Perschke
You've got to chase this work of art down if y ou want to see it in person. The giant red ball moves from one quirky spot to another--it's in Memphis through May 7, 2016. | Photo credit The Red Ball Project
Skin 2, by Mehmet Ali Uysal
On the outskirts of Leige, Belgium, this sculpture turns the solid earth into something more unnervingly malleable. | Image credit Saatchi Art
Floating Orange Tree, by Ran Morin
Located in the ancient streets of Jaffa, Israel, the artist intended to emphasize the separation of man and nature. The effect is striking. | photo by Sarah Stodola
Cloud Gate, by Anish Kapoor
Nicknamed The Bean, this piece is practically a Chicago landmark. And it's fun-walk under it, take pictures of yourself in it, etc. | photo by Sarah Stodola
Prada Marfa, by Elmgreen and Dragset
As I wrote when I covered it for Almanac of Style, "By placing Prada completely out of its element, the weird little building didn’t feel like a paean to consumerism, but rather a comment on its inherent artifice." | photo by Sarah Stodola