Opinion

Statue Porn

Within the past year I have become increasingly excited by art in the public sphere. Like many today, I believe that the arts have an integral place in society, and that artworks should no longer be trapped in museums and galleries for only a few to admire.

However, while learning more about public art, I began to notice a startling trend; it appears that the public possesses an odd affinity toward public works. Aside from the common images of the Statue of Liberty or the popular monuments in Washington, DC, I found image after image of art lovers groping, humping, licking and kissing public statues in a trend I have come to refer to as Statue Porn. I began looking for more of these photographs and compiled roughly 50 into this GIF.

I dismissed this public love affair with artworks as horseplay; mere childish humor for those who do not fully appreciate or understand art. Yet, as I found more and more images, I could not help but question this gut reaction, was I being snobbish? This is a trend, and as someone fascinated by public art, I cannot ignore the public’s reaction.

Honestly, how are we supposed to engage with a giant naked woman carved from stone? What interactions does the city hope to incite when they fund bronze statues of only naked white people who have been dead for many years and have no direct relevance to it’s location? I slowly came to believe Statue Porn is more a product of bad public art than a bad audience. I had made the easy mistake of blaming the public in these photographs, when I should be critical of the art itself.

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Image credit in order of appearance. 1. autumnismyfavoritecolor on Flickr, 2. Jim Bates, Seattle Times, 3. Wuicho of Brown Planet, 4. lolgallery.com, 5. Photo of Shenae Grimes, unknown photographer, 6. Of Jamie Smith, unknown photographer, 7. Suicideblonde on Tumblr, 8. love2travelwritefilm.com, 9. Unknown photographer, 10. questioneverything.ca/features/parliamentary_comparisons, 11. zenith2007 on myLot, 12. jenmac on blogger, 13. Noelle Boc, 14. Vincent Abbey, 15. Peter Visontay, 16. Rylie on Tribe, 17. travish89 on myspace, 18. meri on blogger, 19. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 20. littlejessmo on flickr, 21. lolgallery.com, 22. lolgallery.com, 23. lolgallery.com, 24. lolgallery.com, 25. lolgallery.com, 26. lolgallery.com, 27. lolgallery.com, 28. zenosfrudakis.com/sculptures/public/index.html, 29.myoldmansaidfollowsunderland.blogspot.com, 30. justbarkingmad.com/?p=2212, 31. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 32. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 33. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 34. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 35. Mr. Nhi^^ on Flickr, 36. http://oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 37. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 38. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 39. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 40. o6-carebear-o6.xanga.com, 41. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 42. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 43. oddstuffmagazine.com/funny-poses-with-sculptures.html, 44. Sierra Greaves, 45. lolgallery.com

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