It takes a unique confluence of ignorance, social pathology and artistic unfitness to get public art so wrong that it becomes deserving of our contempt. A public statue can invoke a ‘sense of place’, express a community’s values, inspire, memorialize, and engage the public at large with a sense of lasting grandeur–of the meaning of art in our lives.

A public statue can also frighten, disturb, confuse, ruin a person’s day, and perhaps even discourage a community from leaving the house in the first place.

The exemplary pinnacle of the latter type of statue is found in otherwise beautiful Santa Barbara, California.
I ask you to behold the horror that is “Generation Bridge.”

Look not long, lest you form an ocular ulcer or so sully your human soul that no penance can redeem you. 
This is your MindFlowers “Creepiest Statue” award winner and believe me it was not a close contest.

The statue “Generation Bridge” can be found near:
15 E. Figueroa St. in the ‘La Arcada.’
Despite it being in an open and heavily foot trafficked gallery, once you are there–there is no escape.

Here we see that the bent and leering Old Man is holding out some melty chocolate in his grimy, sweaty hands as one may hold to a dog a piece of hamburger with a euthanizing dose of tranquilizers hidden inside.
After the viewer decides to never again eat Hershey’s chocolate, they inevitably begin to try to remember the last time a piece of art prompted them to almost call the police.
 

Here we have the biblical picture of what destructive greed looks like. Note the consuming need for chocolate written across her face that is surely meant to serve as a Willy Wonka-esque commentary on how a ‘sweet tooth’ inevitably leads to children disappearing.
What clinched this statue as “world’s creepiest” is not just the theme and content of the statue, but the aesthetic ‘little touches’ that are indicative of an artist’s spiraling syphilitic madness. The choice to paint bronze is beside the point: marvel at the sickly pink pajamas that may or may not be made of asbestos.

At first glance, if you are a rational member of society you may think “Wow. The ol’ creepy-guy-with-candy trope. That’s disgusting.” But even then, you have not plumbed the depth of this statue’s depravity.  
Pictured below, you can see that this Creepy Old Man is certainly no ‘one trick pony’ when it comes to debauching children who happen to wander by his Shelob-like web.

Like a rabid St. Bernard, Ol’ Creepy stands guard between the girl and the safe re-capture of Dolly. 
As public art goes; deplorable. As strategy guide for dragons, terrorists, and Lex Luthor; brilliant.  

Below, the plaque honoring the creator of the Creepiest Statue, Seward Johnson. Kudos, dear sir.
Your art may not last long outside the walls of city dumps but your fiendish statements of ‘art’ will live on in our collective nightmares forever.

Does your city have a ‘runner-up?’ Drop us a line and a picture!

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM9RD7
http://www.sewardjohnson.com/site/index.html

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