Public Art Keeps One-Upping Itself in Weirdness, Blowing Our Minds


Many of New York’s public art spectacles are either temporary (the Gates, the Waterfalls) or permanent and established (the Wall Street Bull, the LOVE sculpture). Chicago, however, takes serious risks with its urban centerpieces. Take their latest offering: a human eyeball (well, not really human).

Local artist Tony Tasset’s new 30-foot public sculpture, “Eye,” in Loop’s Pritzker Park is modeled after the artist’s own blue eye. And we’re not quite sure what to think of the eye (should we be jealous? Disgusted?), except that the photo in the Tribune’s slideshow of the iris being lowered onto the structure looks like it’s receiving a color contact.

One Tribune commenter pointed out, “Well, it certainly seems an appropriate sculpture for a city that leads the nation in surveillance cameras. Big (VERY BIG!) Brother is watching YOU!” Maybe it will reduce crime?

In other weird art news, Seattle offers an inflatable likeness of our own Statue of Liberty’s head, placed atop a grassy hill in Seattle’s Gas Works Park for Fourth of July weekend. The decapitation of the symbol of our country’s independence isn’t necessarily a reason to jump up and down spinning sparklers round and round, but it’s, um, an artistic choice. Or maybe people are supposed to assume that Lady Liberty’s body is buried under the hill like a child playing in the sand. Perhaps our heads are too far buried in the dirt to recognize the work’s grandeur. No matter, it’s weird!