As anyone who has ever dicked around with Play-Doh knows, sculpting is fucking hard: If you aspire to create anything but crude dongs, the level of planning and technical skill it takes to bring a passable statue into existence is downright insane. With this in mind, you'd assume that talented statue folks use their power to create wonders, which is precisely what some of them do.
However, there are ... others. Time and time again, we keep bumping into statues that prove that a whole bunch of sculptors are clearly using every single ounce of their talent to troll the world as hard as they possibly can.
#10. Verity -- Devon, Great Britain
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If you feel like punching a wall whenever you see the words "modern art," chances are it's because you've seen the works of Damien Hirst. He's the dude behind famous, critically esteemed works such as Isn't That Just a Fucking Shark in a Formaldehyde Tank? and Who the Hell Tries to Sell a Diamond-Covered Fake Skull for $84 Million? As such, he's probably the last person in existence who should be allowed to decorate things like, say, the piers of quaint small towns.
At least that's what someone must have said a few years ago, because right on cue, a small English town called Ilfracombe stood up and said: "Hey, have you guys noticed that we're a quaint small town? Wouldn't that Damien Hirst dude be the perfect guy to decorate our pier?"
And that, dear reader, is why the world now has Verity: a giant 2013 sculpture of a half-flayed pregnant woman that looks for all the world like a prop from Hannibal. This 66-foot bronze "allegory for truth and justice" stands facing the sea with a stance that's less "welcome to our little English town" and more "I'm going to punch the very concept of your spleen if you dock." Oh, and it's also brandishing a sword that's as big as the rest of the statue.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
On a positive note, ain't no one going to invade them by sea in a hurry.
#9. The Giant Lamp -- Malmo, Sweden
In the Swedish city of Malmo, there is a light that never goes out. Too bad said light comes in the form of a giant-ass table lamp that switches spots seemingly at will and whispers to passersby in a broken, not-quite-Swedish subliminal language of mayhem:
"Ia! Ia! R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn bork bork bork!"
The Giant Lamp of Malmo is a 19-foot inexplicably popular sculpture that tours the squares of the city as the year progresses, only to return to its headquarters at Lilla Torg Square for Christmas. The words "ritual" and "blood" don't feature in the description, but considering that this is a country that habitually pulls a (hopefully mostly Nic Cage-less) Wicker Man with a giant goat sculpture most Christmastimes, it's pretty safe to assume they're heavily implied.
#8. The Enema Statue -- Zheleznovodsk, Russia
The Russian town of Zheleznovodsk is famed for its iron-rich mineral springs, and the many wonderful spas that bring this miracle of nature to the people. As such, it was no surprise that the town wanted to honor the source of their wealth with a statue dedicated to the specialty of Zheleznovodsk spa culture: the enema.
They used to have a statue of a douche, but it attracted too many pickup artists.
Shaped as a massive rectal bulb syringe held aloft by Botticcellian cherubs, this bronze sculpture greets the visitors near the gates of the town's largest spa. Sadly, the story doesn't elaborate on whether said spa has had a single visitor since this loving homage was erected.
#7. Man Hanging Out -- Prague, Czech Republic
So you're walking the historic streets of Prague, enjoying the fine spring weather, and suddenly your gaze lands on a worrying sight. Holy shit, there's a dude hanging for dear life from a beam that's inexplicably dangling from a rooftop! Uncertain of whether you're witnessing a scene in a James Bond movie or a tragic situation just a few minutes away from ending up as sidewalk splatter, you spring into action and call the authorities.
A few minutes later, a cop strolls over and gives you an enthusiastic slap over the head. Congratulations! You've just become the 367th person this month alone to let Prague's sculpture of Sigmund Freud fool you.
It's called Man Hanging Out, because lame puns are the only thing Prague loves more than scaring people.
Apart from routinely confusing the shit out of first-time visitors to Prague, Man Hanging Out is a representation of Freud's struggle with his phobias and fear of mortality. It's also the work of famous Czech artist/troll David Cerny, who is rapidly turning into something of a personal nemesis: No matter how I promise myself I'll avoid him this time, his work just keeps popping up every time I do one of these articles. In fact, let's take this thing somewhere there's no way of bumping into his work whatsoever. Say ... Australia.
#6. The Big Lobster -- Kingston, South Australia
Via ABC Australia
Aaaaaahhhhh! That is not better at all!
Australia has the virtual monopoly on creatures that can scar our mental and physical capacities merely by saying "Boo." The thing you may not know is that somewhere down the line the continent apparently just said "screw it" and started building giant effigies for all creatures great and small that may or may not be able to murder them in some manner, up to and very much including pineapples.
The Big Lobster is the king of said statues. It's a massive construct 59 feet tall, 45 feet wide, and 50 feet long that depicts what is either a lobster or a hitherto unknown kaiju species that Australia has thus far been able to hide from the rest of the world in order to keep luring tourists in, much like Mayor Vaughn did in Jaws.