No other art form can quite match the surprise factor of a truly beautiful statue. There's no equal to the gut-wrenching elation you experience when you unassumingly walk around a corner and find yourself face to face with a well-sculpted, awe-inspiring piece of art. Or, if you're going for the exact opposite of that feeling, you can just stumble ass backward into one of these fucking things.
Imagine that your beloved father has passed away and you want to honor his memory in some fashion. But how? Paintings are so pedestrian, and everyone knows a bust is nothing but a surefire way of setting him up for an eternity of boob jokes and barely suppressed chortles. Luckily, you have the perfect memorial in mind:
A naked dude molestin' a turtle.
Also known as a "dick-down rodeo."
Yes, Burnside Fountain, also known as Turtle Boy for no-shit-related reasons, is very much a memorial. Turtle humping probably wasn't part of the original plan; it entered the equation when the artist that was supposed to sculpt the piece passed the gig to his protege, who was evidently just tinkering with sculpting to pass the time until deviantART came along.
The end result of this unfortunate process was revealed in 1912 and has since enjoyed cult status as one of the most skull-crappingly stupid things in existence. Really, the turtle's expression says it best:
"Squirtle, I choose you!"
Your travels have brought you to Turku, the former capital of Finland. Approaching the city in anticipation of cultural pleasures, you remember all the great things you've heard of its picturesque buildings and fine riverside cafes.
And then, out of the blue, your eyeballs are pimp slapped by a giant statue made entirely out of ass.
"Greetings, mortal! Grab your complimentary bondage gear by the next roundabout."
Congratulations! You have just joined the legions of visitors whose common sense has been ravaged by Posankka, a 16-foot fiberglass pig/duck/butt hybrid that haunts one of the city's main entrance roads like a twisted Statue of Liberty.
With that image etched onto your retinas, it's understandable that you want to immediately pull a U-turn and drive as far away from Turku as humanly possible. Do not do this under any circumstances. Avoid the road. Drive your car into the river to avoid temptation. Escape through the forests, acquire a boat, hijack a jet pack. Anything but the road.
Why? Because the poor bastards who drive the Posankka road away from Turku are waved goodbye by this:
"Fuck you for visiting!"
Hey, let's take a quick shortcut under that bridge. No need to worry, I know where we are. Seattle holds no surprises for m- AARGHOHSHITRUN!
"Wait! What about my riddle?"
The Fremont Troll is a huge mixed-media statue based on the old Three Billy Goats Gruff folk tale, and today is your chance to play the goat (hope you have a couple of bigger friends following you!). The troll's chosen haunt is under the Aurora Bridge, and in case you're confused about its scale, that's a real VW Beetle it's holding.
Huh. Trolls like German food. Makes sense.
The locals, not satisfied with the troll's already abundant murder vibes, regularly add to its hatred of mankind by desiccating it with graffiti, light shows, and, worst of all, stupid hats. This is an ancient ritual to ensure that the giant earthquake that will one day devour them all remains in the #2 spot on the city's "terrifying things that want to consume us" list.
Entropa was commissioned to celebrate the Czech Republic's 2009 presidency of the Council of the European Union. A joint effort of 27 international artists, the statue was comprised of several pieces, each designed to honor a specific EU country.
The unveiling went exactly as European celebrations tend to go: Everyone yelled "Huzzah," twirled their mustaches, and waved their hats in unison. And then people started noticing the details. Here's Entropa's spin on Italy:
Yep, that's an Italy-shaped soccer pitch where the players are trying their level best to bone soccer balls (Italy really likes soccer, you guys). Romania becomes a creepy, vampire-infested fortress:
Which looks like it was just bought from the toy section at Walmart.
Still, surely that's about as bad as it can get. It's not as if the artists, hah, represent Germany as a set of huge autobahns forming what looks a lot like a broken swastika.
You get the picture -- Entropa insults every single nation in the Union like that. France is perpetually on strike, Scotland is a bunch of shitty marshlands and a set of bagpipes that fart out random tunes, Sweden is an IKEA box, and the Czech Republic shat a brick as it realized it had just started its reign by brutally mocking every single one of its friends.
It was soon found that the whole "27 artists" thing was a complete fabrication. Entropa was the work of none other than Czech artist David Cerny, a familiar face on Cracked's statue lists and a professional waver of sculpture-shaped middle fingers.
Some of them more literal than others.
The rest of the story is Politics 101. The Czech Republic immediately removed Entropa and apologized to everyone, and the first order of their presidency was to relocate Cerny to Antarctica.
Ha, no! They totally displayed the piece for well over a year after the Czech EU presidency ended, and after that they put it on permanent display in an esteemed science center. Cerny waltzed away with a shit-eating grin and is still gleefully wreaking havoc with works like ...
Central to the city of Prague is the mighty statue of St. Wenceslas, patron saint of the city and the "Good King Wenceslas" of that Christmas carol you sort of remember hearing once.
The one about horses and spears.
However, take a wrong turn while looking for the monument and you might wind up with a very different experience. Lurking within an otherwise unassuming passageway of the nearby Lucerna Palace, just a couple of hundred feet from the original, is David Cerny's version of this holy man and national hero:
Riding that horse's penis is a nice touch.
The statue was originally meant for the main post office, but for some reason the director wasn't too thrilled about it. So Cerny went all out and installed it as close to the original as humanly possible, thus establishing once and for all that in the Czech Republic, "artist" is just another word for "professional troll."
What is this strange statue by the British Library in London? Is it supposed to be a robot? A particularly creepy marketing campaign for the newest Soul Calibur game?
Ha, no! This is Isaac "Gravity (Not the Movie, Damn It)" Newton, bending over a bench and wearing what appears to be steampunk-themed BDSM gear, because that's how he rolls, baby.
The full name of this piece is "Newton, After William Blake." As a poet and an artist, Blake hated all things science-y, and was fond of using uber-scientist Newton as the personification of his pet peeve. Yes, this huge, public statue depicts one of history's greatest scientists in a way the man who disliked science wanted us to see him.