The rising tide of Charm-bracelet art? Jeff Koons’s Puppy versus Serra’s Tilted Arc

Please don’t walk on the sculptures…

Artinpublicplaces's Blog

In order to be acceptable to the public at large, do large artworks intended for public space have to meet some basic criteria?  I stumbled across an interesting old 2009 article online that discussed public reactions to several large artworks that have been staged outdoors in NYC during the last several decades.

One NYC art critic thought that all public artworks should be “crowd-pleasing”, which seems to favor those works that are cute and representational, rather that abstract.  Low art versus high(brow) art?  IMO this is a problem.  Good art is not decoration — it should challenge viewers to think, or at least to stop and ponder a bit.  IMO the recent trend towards large oversized animals as cutsie sculpture (Koons’s Puppy, Louise Bourgeois’s giant spiders, or even Roxy Paine’s metal trees) is almost as bad as clogging up outdoor parks with sculptures of dead soldiers on horseback.  These romantic…

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