53 Chilling Sculptures That Show A Different Side To History Than We Already Know
By | March 24, 2020
Undine Rising from the Waters
Some photos are so chilling, it's just hard to look away. Even more so, a photo of a sculpture carries with it so much mystery that we just can't help try to uncover the real story behind it's eerie complexity and take a closer look.
These are the most chilling and unsettling sculptures that have graced the planet. They leave us clues about a different side to history than we already know…and will leave us yearning for more.
We gathered a collection of photos and stories that may not have been newsworthy at the time but are more meaningful today than ever. Click ahead and try not to gasp!
Created in 1880, Undine Rising from the Waters was painstakingly carved by Chauncey Bradley Ives. He was inspired by the stories of Mediterranean sea spirits who medieval locals believed to be “soulless mortals.” After Baron Heinrich Karl de la Motte Fouqué wrote the novel Undine where one of these creatures gains a soul while marrying knight with whom they’re in love the western world became obsessed with this myth. With this sculpture Ives shows the moment that sprite spills out of the water draped in a white veil to take their husband’s life. The marble sculpture is one of the more realistic carvings that’s ever been produced.
Eerie, motionless figures beneath the water
Imagine taking dive in Playa Blanca and coming face to face with this underwater sculpture of men and women sitting beneath the water. Okay that’s not really going to happen, at least not accidentally, because this piece is in the Museo Atlántico, Europe´s only underwater sculpture museum. To visit the museum you have to dive with a guide who also happens to be an official ECO dive guide. It’s unclear exactly how these dives work, whether the guides give you information before you dive or if there’s a headset situation in your diving mask. Someone go and let us know.
The Weeping Girls can be found at the Jupiter Artland site
Designed by Laura Ford, the “Weeping Girls” are sculptures that are meant to shake tings up at Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ford explained:
A friend of mine told me a story about a fantastic tantrum his daughter had had where she was inconsolable whilst at the same time watching herself and the effect she was having in the mirror. The site I have picked at Jupiter has a quiet melancholic atmosphere and I felt it was the perfect place to introduce some unnecessary drama in the style of the story above. What I have made for Jupiter are 5 little girls dressed up as sculptures in positions of high drama which animate the landscape they inhabit.
The Knotted Gun, Turtle Bay, New York, Usa
Also known as “Non-Violence,” this statue of a gun with its barrel knotted up sits outside of the United Nations headquarters and according to artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd he was inspired to create the piece after the murder of John Lennon. Initially a version of the sculpture was located at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, but it was moved in 1988. The sculpture, a giant Colt Python .357 Magnum cast in bronze, is meant to teach its viewers to be good to one another. Kofi Annan said of the piece:
It has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but for peace.
A Creepy Aquarium Sculpture At Oregon Undersea Gardens
This creepy statue can be found at Oregon Undersea Gardens, a former aquarium where locals and tourists visited to learn about underwater life while paying a visit to Keiko, the orca whale who starred in Free Willy before he was sent to Iceland and released back to the wild. This statue was in place for most of OUG’s time of operation and it never failed to freak out visitors who were new to the property. Wouldn’t you feel unhinged if you were learning about marine life and suddenly found yourself in close proximity to a down and dirty octopus attack?
Nothing to see here, just a guy cutting himself in half
What can be more relaxing than hanging out in front of a statue of someone cutting themselves in half? According to Irish artist Victor Langheld not much. After a visit to India in 1989 Langheld found spiritual enlightenment and returned home to work on a sculpture park meant to help someone find spiritual rebirth during their travels. The sculptures lead the visitor from pain and confusion to self-actualization. According to Langheld:
Victoria's Way was designed as a contemplative space to be used by individuals (i.e. single wanderers) between about 28 to 60 years of age who feel the need to assess the quality and direction of their lives. It's a sort of mid-life (-crisis) self-reassessment and self-reorientation pilgrimage.
The life-size Terracotta Army sculptures depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.
Now this is a huge army, imagine facing them down on an early morning. You’d really need to eat your Wheaties - well, you would if they were actual people. These statues were discovered in 1974 by a group of villagers in the Shaanxi province in northwest China. They found one clay figure in the ground and that turned out to be the beginning of the greatest architectural find of the 20th century. Archaeologists came to the area and found nearly 600 pits of underground vaults that held a four-acre Museum of the Terracotta Army. All of the soldiers stand at attention, waiting to go to battle.
The Monument Of An Anonymous Passerby, Wroclaw, Poland
People disappearing into the ground, ghosts in plain sight, this piece of art from Wroclaw, Poland shows 14 people slowly sinking into the ground of Swidnicka Street only to reappear on the other side. The installation was set up in in December, 2005 on the 24th anniversary of the Communist party’s declaration of martial law. It’s believed that artist Jerzy Kalina created the piece as a way to memorialize the Polish citizens who were forced underground by Communist rule. Their reappearance on the other side of Swidnicka Street supposedly represents the ability of every day people to return to real life.
A 12 foot tree sculpture by Kim Beaton
This friendly tree troll isn’t just a fantastic design. This enormous structure is made of non-toxic materials and it was designed by Kim Beaton, a former lumberjack who wanted to pay honor to his recently deceased father. He called up 25 volunteers and they got to work. He told My Modern Met:
[My father] had died a few months prior at 80 years old. On June 2nd, at 3am, I woke from a dream with a clear vision burning in my mind. The image of my dad, old, withered and ancient, transformed into one of the great trees, sitting quietly in a forest. I leaped from my bed, grabbed some clay and sculpted like my mind was on fire. In 40 minutes I had a rough sculpture that said what it needed to. The next morning I began making phone calls, telling my friends that in 6 days time we would begin on a new large piece. The next 6 days, I got materials and made more calls. On June 8th we began, and 15 days later we were done. I have never in my life been so driven to finish a piece.
The dramatic fairy sculpture Dancing With Dandelion
This stunning and breathtaking ethereal sculpture created by Robin Wight is built from stainless steel wire in order to make these winged fairies that look like they could take flight at any moment. To build these statues Wight concocts a steel skeleton of sorts before wrapping the initial structure in muscles, limbs, and skin with different gauges of steel wire. He wraps and wraps the structures until he has something lifelike on his hands. Wight isn’t a lifelong sculptor and he only started building these fairies after he took a photo of a hazy, fairy-like figure in the woods outside Staffordshire one day.
Jesus Christ is the abyssal zone, Italy
Just off the San Fruttuoso Coast in Italy stands the most divine statue that one can find under the water, Christ of the Abyss. This divine sculpture was cast from bronze to look like Jesus Christ by Italian artist Guido Galleti. In August 1954 the statue was placed 17 meters below the Mediterranean Sea in honor of Dario Gonzatt, the first Italian diver to test scuba gear. Christ of the Abyss stands to this day, although it’s not as bright as it once was. It’s an amazing spectacle to see beneath the waves, so remember to bring your camera if you wind up diving off the beach near San Fruttuoso.
The Cloak of Conscience is the sort of terrifying that’s strangely beautiful as well
This incredibly creepy sculpture by Anna Chromý. Carved directly from one block of white marble excavated from the Michelangelo Quarry in Carrara, Italy, the same place where Michelangelo sourced the marble for the beautiful statue of David. The statue was carved down from one block to a piece that weighs about 50 short tons and has a space in the center that’s completely hollow. The empty space in the middle can fit two full size people standing next to one another. After unveiling the piece Chromy was awarded the Premio Michelangelo, the annual award for sculpture, she was the first woman to receive the award since its inception.
This eerie statue of Mary Magdelene emerging from Jesus' tomb is by one of the sculptors of Mt. Rushmore in Washington, DC
One of the most unsettling statues that you can find in Washington D.C. this bronze statue of Mary Magdalene shows the woman reaching towards Jesus as he’s resurrected on Easter morning. Black tears streak down her face as she calls out into the distance for her newly risen son. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, one of the guys behind Mount Rushmore, as this statue ages it only grows more creepy thanks to the deterioration that it suffers from the elements. The name of this sculpture, “Rabboni” – teacher in Hebrew – is supposedly what Mary cried when she saw Jesus rise.
This 20 foot-tall snow sculpture of Amelia Earhart
Following the disappearance of Amelia Earhart she was on everyone’s mind. While she’s been commemorated in various pieces of art over the years, this is definitely the most fascinating piece of art dedicated to the missing aviator. The head of Earhart was made by Duane Bryers, a real snow architect, or snow-chitect if you will, and it’s legitimately awe inspiring. It couldn’t have taken long to make, thanks to the inhospitable weather (after all most snowmen are on Jack Frost rules), but it definitely took a lot of planning. The resemblance is uncanny, and it’s too bad that we don’t see more of these.
When visiting Széchenyi Square in Budapest you’ll find a beautiful site that’s full of flowing fountains and rare pieces of art including this huge statue of a waking giant. Hungarian artist Ervin Lóránt Hervé constructed the massive sculpture of a giant exiting the ground in 2014. Titled “Ripped Up” or “Feltépve” if you’re nasty, it was made as a connection to Budapest. Hervé explained that the piece may look like it’s made of stone but in fact it’s made of something far dense. He explained:
It is made from a Styrofoam base, and with exterior façade of plaster. It is pretty durable, but cannot stand very strong physical exposure. The pieces are several tons structurally, so the wind does not blow them away. How much time it took to set up should remain a secret.
Les Voyageurs, Marseilles, France
There’s something off about this statue, doesn’t it feel like it’s missing something? Across the the port city of Marseilles French artist Bruno Catalano constructed surreal yet realistic human statues that are missing parts of their body. These statues were installed in 2013 to celebrate Marseilles being named the 2013 European Capital of Culture. The missing portions of the statues ask the viewer to imagine what it is that the people are lacking. The statues don’t need a lot to stand on their own which adds to the dreamy appearance of the sculptures. What do you think these sculptures mean?
These creepy statues in the forbidden forest are meant to be soothing
These statues can be found outside the village of Fureai Sekibutsu no Sato in Toyama Prefecture, Japan and nobody really knew they were there. The statues are incredibly lifelike and they were initially carved in the likeness of Buddhist deities as a way to relax people who visited the town. The park’s founder Mutsuo Furukawa said that the idea was to bring in tourists but as time went by the statues lost their meditative quality and just started to look freaky. With the overgrown grass and decomposing statues it’s hard to see how anyone could feel chill vibes on a visit to this forest.
Diminish And Ascend By David Mccracken
I’ve hard of a stairway to Heaven but this is ridiculous. The Diminish and Ascend installation is a sculpture created by David McCracken that, when seen from the correct angle, looks like it never ends. The optical illusion at play with this sculpture makes it seem like the stairs continue straight out into the stars, but it’s just crafty building that makes this staircase look infinite. Basically, McCracken built a stair case that gets smaller as it nears its peak, which creates the architectural deception. The staircase is made of aluminum, which means that it’s much more lightweight than actual huge staircase.
The Caring Hand, Glarus, Switzerland
If you’re in Switzerland sometime you can reach out and touch “The Caring Hand,” a sculpture of fingers reaching out of the ground. Created by Eva Oertli and Beat Huber, this sculpture wraps around a tree in order to send a message about being a responsible environmentalist. The Caring Hand is about an hour from Zurich in a region of Glarnerland where it’s said that that democracy is still practiced by raising one’s hand. If so then this sculpture is saying more than just “be good to Earth,” but that we should be comfortable raising our hands to speak up.
This girl is carrying the ocean on her shoulders
Underwater sculpture is some of the most fascinating work of the 20th century. Not only does it take art out of stuffy galleries, but it makes the work more complicated for artists. Ocean Atlas is an 18 foot tall, 60 ton statue of a young girl holding up the sea off the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas. Artist James DeCaires-Taylor explained how he got into underwater sculpture:
I felt my sculptural work needed more purpose and was inspired by the earthworks movement to take my work outside of the gallery space. Being a diver and having witnessed the steady decline of our reefs systems, creating artificial reefs seemed the natural step.
A worker cleaning the ear of the Lincoln Memorial in 1987
Honest Abe was definitely a clean politician but his statue can get pretty dirty. However, because of the amount of tourism that Washington D.C. sees it’s not like he can get cleaned every day. The National Park Service cleans Abe twice a year with a pressure washer and they use makeshift cotton swabs to clean whatever nastiness finds its way into his ears. Abe is harder to clean than many of the other memorials in D.C. because of all the nooks and crannies in his body. That being said even when he’s at his most smudged up it’s not like he’s super filthy or anything.
The 2nd century B.C. Greek sculpture The Winged Victory of Samothrace being evacuated from the Louvre in 1939.
This dreamy marble sculpture is one of the most recognizable pieces of art in history, but what is it? No one knows who sculpted it, but historians at the Louvre believe that it was carved in the early second century BCE by the Rhodes, a group of people who lived on a Greek island. The sculpture represents Nike, the the Greek goddess of victory as she flies through the air with a garment clinging to her body. Initially the statue was on the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a temple complex on the island of Samothrace, at some point (researchers are unsure) the statue was broken into multiple pieces and discovered by amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau in 1863 and donated to the Louvre.
Swamp sculpture in Eastern Ireland
If you’re creeped out by this realistic sculpture of a creature dragging itself through a swamp then you’ll be shocked at the rest of the pieces of art that can be found in The Indian Sculpture Park in Victor’s Way that’ you’ll find in Wicklow, Ireland. After returning from India in 1989 Victor Langheld built his art garden full of spooky statues as a way to help visitors find self reflection as they traveled through the grounds. Most of the sculptures int he park are built from black granite and they can be anywhere from four to sixteen feet tall.
Designed and fashioned out of concrete Neptune supports the one-time dancing terrace of Villa Pastine on his shoulders.
Designed and built by Jewish sculptor Arrigo Minerbi in 1910, Il Gigante is a completely concrete structure that was meant to beautify the edge of the Villa Pastine outside the Italian riviera town of Monterosso del Mare. During World War II the area was bombed by the Allies, sending the statue’s arms, trident, and seashell into the water. The statue has continued to fall apart as it continues to be battered by the waves, but it still stands as a protector of the city against the waves. In 1982 eyes were on the statue after it was found that the golden rabbit prize from the book-treasure hunt “The Masquerade” was hidden beneath the foot of the statue.
The Apennine Colossus in Florence, Italy, which was constructed over 420 years ago. Wow
This beautiful bearded statue standing at an astounding height of 35 feet tall is one of the most fascinating pieces of architecture to be found at the gardens of Villa Medici at Pratolino, just north of Florence. This fantastic sculpture was created to represent the Apennine mountain ranges with real stalactites acting as the old man’s beard. You can’t see it from here, but the old man is more than a statue, he’s a building. Inside, the walls are covered with frescoes and two working fountains. The old man’s head acts as a chamber that can hold a small orchestra.
The mysterious human statues of Easter Island
Is there any place that’s more mysterious than Easter Island? The plot of land that was originally named M’oai? This island features monolithic human statues carved by the Rapa Nui people sometime between 1250 and 1500.Many of the statues were moved to the outer edge of the island, but half of the heads remain at Rano Raraku, the quarry where they were carved. Researchers don’t know exactly what these statues mean, but they believe that they represent a kind of rennasaince for the M'oai where they were throwing themselves into art and in a way they never had before.
Guardians at the Gateway
This sculpture of a mystical creature that pays homage to the indigenous people of Australia was constructed by William Ricketts, an artist who worked with clay in order to work out the magical ideas in his head. The Guardians at the Gate is one of many sculptures that Ricketts built in 1934 on his four-acre plot of land on Mount Dandenong that he called “Potter’s Sanctuary.” In the 1960s the Australian government bought Ricketts’ property and some land around the acreage to transform the space into a public sanctuary. Ricketts continued working on the Sanctuary until he passed away in 1993.
Now this an epic 1,320-ton God Of War Statue in China
In 2016 China unveiled a massive 157 foot statue of the Chinese god of war, Guan Yu. The giant statue stands atop a 33 foot pedestal that looks like a warship. Guan Yu holds what CCTV News China calls the “Green Dragon Crescent Blade.” This 1,320-ton statue statue can be sen in Jingzhou city and it has more than 4,000 pieces of bronze attached to the statue. Before he was a mythical god, Yu was a real general who served the warlord Liu Neo during the third century BC. After his death he was mythologized and turned into a god that’s found in Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism.
Blucifer is terrifying, and it’s made even worse by its location just outside the Denver Airport
The first thing you see when you pay a visit to Denver International Airport is Blucifer, a giant blue horse that’s officially referred to as “Blue Mustang.” Commissioned in 1993, it took 15 years to install this horse thanks to multiple legal issues that included an argument with airport security and an accident during construction. The statue weighs 9,000 pounds and it stands at 32 feet. Sculptor Luis Jiménez wanted to capture the power and freedom of the Wild West and he painted it blue because of an old legend about a horse with a blue coat that lead people to water in the San Luis Valley.
Ancient Goddess Sculpture Discovered In Aegean Sea
In 2017 Turkish researchers discovered a 2,700-year-old ceramic sculpture of a Cypriot goddess in the Aegean Sea. The statue dates back to the dates back to the archaic period (800 BC–480 BC), and believe it or not this is only the lower half of the statue. The researchers believe that the statue can teach them about that ancient time in the Mediterranean. Associate Professor Harun Özdaş explained:
Current research shows that the sea was the most important means of communication among Mediterranean civilizations in the ancient ages. In addition to the research so far, the current ones made with the use of technological tools and methods show us that not only products but also opinions and philosophy were exchanged between the civilizations.
Stonehenge is the poster child of mysterious monuments. The earth and ditch around the monument dates to 3100 BC
People have been trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of Stonehenge for thousands of years the prehistoric monument that took Neolithic architects close to 1,500 years to set in place. Modern researchers believe that Stonehenge was used as a burial ground or a place of worship, but no one knows exactly how a group of people without heavy machinery were able to set up a massive structure in such a mathematically accurate layout. Nearly one million people visit southern England every year to see the nearly 100 huge stones that many people believe have some kind of magical properties.
A small scale model of Gutzon Borglum’s design of Mt. Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is one of the greatest architectural achievements that can be found in America. It’s admirable both for its construction and sheer size, but it’s not like we’ve all got the time to just go to South Dakota every day to take in some good ol’ fashioned American art. Thank goodness this scale model of the attraction designed by the original artist exists. At 1/12th the scale of Mount Rushmore this model shows the original intention behind Mount Rushmore which was to show each president as a separate person rather than just four heads. That small change would have been far too expensive for United States.
Built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabataeans, the sandstone city of Petra features palaces, temples, and tombs etched into the rocks
Carved into the sandstone cliffs of Jordan, the city of Petra is one of the most jaw dropping sights on planet Earth. Built in the third century BC by the Nabataeans, the city once held temples, tombs, and palaces all in its gorgeous architecture. The massive city sits on a set of cliffs and it takes days to fully explore. This isn't a place you want to rush through. The beautiful sandstone structures were abandoned in AD 555 after an earthquake made the are unlivable. Even though it’s not livable, the city of Petra is definitely worth visiting if you’ve got the dough.
Bust of Maria Barberini Duglioli by Italian sculptor Giuliano Finelli (1601-1653). ⛏️
Isn’t it amazing how lifelike this bust seems? It’s not every day that we see a statue so thoroughly detailed. Designed by Giuliano Finelli, the bust of Maria Barberini Duglioli was created in a similar way that portrait painter might tackle one of their subjects. He kept the soft marble in a wide cage to keep the perforations of the collar from cracking of morphing in any way. Supposedly the bust wasn’t created completely by Giuliano and was actually subcontracted out to his assistant in 1626. Whether that’s true or not the bust is still scene as the high point of female busts.
The bronze cattle drive through Dallas, Texas
Found in Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas, these statues representing a cattle drive of the 19th century was donated by the Texas Trees Foundation in 1994. The cows are strewn across the entire plaza in a bronze recreation of what a cattle drive might really look like. Aside from the longhorns that are making their way across the grounds, the area is filled with native plants and trees as well as a stream that flows through the area. Designed by artist Robert Summers, Pioneer Plaza is the largest public open space in Dallas’ business district. There's no word if the bulls are available to ride.
David Cerny’s Saint Wenceslas sits not just on a dead horse, but on a horse that is strung up, upside-down by its feet
This is the kind of art we don’t have anymore, statues that are meant to be total burns on the subject. This statue of King Wenceslas riding an upside down dead horse that hangs from the ceiling of the Art Nouveau Lucerna Palace in Prague was created by David Černý, known for his incrediblyly weird artwork. Černý has never said exactly what this piece of art means but it’s believed to be thumb in the eye of the memory of the statue of Wenceslas that sits in Wenceslas Square and maybe a joke at the expense of Czech president Vaclav Klaus.
This highly detailed metal sculpture is named Aslan
This massive metal lion sculpture built by Selçuk Yılmaz is built from 4,000 strips of hammered metal. Yılmaz is an artist based in Istanbul who cuts and hammers metal into extremely lifelike statues that are absolutely mind blowing. According to Yılmaz, the piece took almost a year of hammering and cutting to finally put it into place. At the end of the day Aslan, which means “lion” in Turkish, weighs 550 pounds. The sculpture is like looking down the pointed maw of a real lion straight from the realm of fantasy. IT’s definitely something that would look cool in your reading room.
One of the DC most beloved statues, unveiled in 1979 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Albert Einstein
This gorgeous gold statue of Albert Einstein can be found sitting in an elm and holly grove on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. The Einstein Memorial was unveiled on April 22, 1979, and it was created by Robert Berks, the sculptor behind the JFK bust at Washington's Kennedy Center. The statue features three quotes by Einstein at its base and the statue of Einstein is holding a paper with mathematical equations in his left hand. There’s also a 28-foot star map at its base with more than 2,700 metal studs representing the solar system.
An eerily frozen lighthouse that became an accidental ice sculpture due to the splashing waves and frigid storms. ❄
This haunting photo shows one of the most eerie things that nature can do. A frozen lighthouse not only feels lonely, but it seems like it’s wracked by ghosts and the spirits of those that came before. To get a shot like this a photographer has to brave an unwieldy and treacherous frozen ground that can give way at any moment. Photographs of a frozen lighthouse conjure images of wintry days where one warms their hands with a fire and a cup of coffee while watching out for ships passing through the freezing water of the Great Lakes. This frosty photo just makes me want to grab a sweater and a blanket, what about you?
Quetzalcoatl is an ancient Aztec god that is part serpent, part feathery, fiery dragon San Jose, CA
So uh… what does this statue of Quetzalcóatl in San Jose look like to you? Is it a plumed snake that’s paying homage to the Aztec culture or is it a big old number two right in the middle of this Southern California city? Mexican-American sculptor Robert Graham states that the statue is:
... a stylized image of Quetzalcóatl, one of the most important mythological deities of the Mesoamerican pantheon, and was created for the city to symbolize the spirit of social harmony and diversity.
The statue cost about half a million dollars and everyone in the city was taken aback by this $500,000 dump of a sculpture. Some people close to the artist claim that the very expensive statue is a thumb at the nose to the local government for tabling his previous submission to the city after it was made fun of by the media.
Real life King Black Dragon statue
It’s rare that you see a giant three headed dragon anywhere, even if it’s a statue. It’s even more rare that said giant three headed dragon statue breathes fire (which this one definitely does) so of course this giant three headed dragon statue is in Russia. Of course it is! If it looks a little weird to you that’s because it’s not carved like your traditional statue, it’s made of wire mesh and covered in plaster. It was created to fill out a Russian theme park that’s packed with fantastical sculptures and medieval activities like axe throwing a witch burning (just kidding about that one).
Transcendence, also known as the Salmon in the building in Portland
It’s not every day that you see a giant fish crashing through a building without having to worry about falling bricks. This piece was created by Oregonian sculptor Keith Jellum who hand forged the 11-foot bronze fish above, wait for it… a seafood restaurant. You can find this statue above the Southpark Seafood restaurant on the corner of Southwest Salmon Street and Southwest Park Avenue. This wacky sculpture is exactly the kind of thing that you can expect to find in Portland, a town known for keeping it weird and their work in the seafood trade. Just don't try to bring this big boy in.
Sinking Building Outside State Library, Melbourne, Australia
No this building isn’t stuck in some of that much feared Australian quicksand, it’s a fascinating piece of architecture outside the State Library of Victoria. The piece is called “Architectural Fragment” and it was designed by Petrus Spronk as part of the Swanston Walk Public Art Project. The next time you’re in Melbourne, Australia it’s worth checking out this surreal piece of art and maybe even climb on it when the library police aren’t looking. What kind of building would you like to see sinking into the ground? Or do you prefer your buildings to stay on a solid foundation?
Sitting outside the post office of Legazpi City in the Philippines is a pretty disturbing sight a monument with a kneeling headless figure
Not all art installations are whimsical nods to the magic of fish or fantastical thinking, many pieces of art are about pain and trauma. This headless statue in the Philippines is one of the oldest attractions in Legazpi City, Albay which is situated outside of the Post Office Building at Barangay Lapu-Lapu. It was set in place as a dedication to the Filipino people who died during World War II. It’s an amazing piece of art that pulls at the heart stings even in this photo, so imagine what it would be like to see this statue in person.
Taking care of some repairs on Mount Rushmore in 1962
Mount Rushmore is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture that’s ever been created. Literally carved into stone, the faces of our greatest presidents watch over the country silently, but how do you clean something this big? The creators were thinking about this when they carved Rushmore, hiding 8,000 feet of copper wiring that helps engineers to keep an eye on the hairline fractures that dapple the mountain. They also allow workers to clean the mountain side so it always looks the presidents have spotless clean faces. IT can be a dangerous job, but the “Rope Access” squad is good at what they do.
The O of the LOVE sculpture being lowered into place at New York, 1971 ❤️
Designed dry Robert Indiana, the LOVE statue in New York City is one of the most well known structures in the world. The artist created the work as a way to have a dialogue with his former self and his childhood. The colors of red and green were designed to pop against New York's blue sky. Megan Wilde told Mental Floss:
[T]he word love was connected to [the artist's] childhood experiences attending a Christian Science church, where the only decoration was the wall inscription "God is Love". The colors were an homage to his father, who worked at a Phillips 66 gas station during the Depression.
The Cau Vang Golden Bridge, a lengthy bridge held up by a pair of massive stone hands
The Golden Bridge in Vietnam can be found in the Ba Na Hills in Danang. At 1,414 meters above sea level the structure offers views of the beautiful greenery that surrounds the area as well as the beautiful peaks that stand in the distance. As amazing as the view is, the most astounding thing about this bridge is the two massive hands that are holding it aloft. The hands represent the mitts of God lifting up mankind. Designed by Vu Viet Anh, the head of Sun Group, the bridge was constructed between 2017 and 2018 and it opened in June of that year.
The Headington Shark, Oxford, Uk
Commissioned in 1986 by Bill Heine, this giant fiberglass fish hammed into the roof of an Oxford house was added to liven the place up. Heine asked his buddy, the sculptor John Buckley to do something so Buckley added a 25 foot shark that looks like it’s crashing through his roof. The artist worked with a group of volunteers for three months to create a false roof to hold the fish, and the whole thing was dropped on top of the house with a crane. Buckley told The Guardian in 2019:
The crane just dropped it straight in and it went in beautifully as the postman was passing. That first morning was amazing. By Sunday, it was worldwide and its been like that for 30-odd years.
The Statue of Liberty in its original copper form in Paris before it was transported to New York City, 1886
French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi wanted to commemorate the American Revolution so he used his mother as a model for his creation. Due to fundraising problems Bartholdi had to work on the statue on and off, but it was finally finished a few months before giving it to America. The French government officially presented the statue to the United States minister to France in Paris on July 4, 1884. The government then disassembled Lady Liberty before packing it into more than 200 wooden crates and shipping it to the United States. It took two years for the statue to be reassembled once it arrived in the states and now she watches over New York City.
The torso of the statue “Bavaria” being transported from Paris to Munich
This is quite the big lady, do you think she plays for the WNBA? “Bavaria” is the name of a bronze sand-cast 19th-century statue that stands in Munich, Germany. Commissioned by Ludwig I of Bavaria, this mighty lady was cast between 1844 and 1850. Obviously because of its size it had to be constructed in multiple pieces. The whole thing is 60 feet high and it weighs just a hair over 87 tons. Once inside the statue visitors can walk up a circular staircase into the head where various openings provide a view of downtown Munich. Assembling this was no easy task and it took a huge team to make sure everything came together perfectly.
The Veiled Virgin
Working in marble is no easy task. Sculptors and artists work their entire lives to be able to deftly manipulate the stone in order to create exquisite works. Pieces that this fine take finesse and skill that’s almost preternatural. This pieces by Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza. The Veiled Virgin is a statue of the Virgin Mary with a soft veil draped across her face. Carved from Carrara marble, the sculpture is one of the few pieces that manage to achieve the visual that a solid material is one thin piece of fabric. Claire Barbillon, the director of the École du Louvre, explained the statue:
From an archaeological point of view, [the Veiled Virgin‘s veil] stems from the tradition of ‘wet drapery’ that already existed in Greco-Hellenistic sculpture. Sculptors have always taken on this challenge.
The Vogelherd horse is a miniature piece of work that is the oldest known sculpture
Carved from mammoth ivory, this 40,000 year old horse is the oldest sculpture known to man. Created during the Ice Age, this miniature horse is only inches long. The sculpture is a part of what used to be a somewhat longer sculpture with longer legs and tail. This tiny little horse is proof that people have been art forever, and at 4.8 centimeters wide and 2.5 centimeters high it’s an amazing feat of artistry especially when you think about the kind of tools that people during the Ice Age had on hand. It’s strange to think that there aren’t that many of these horses to be found. Is it the only one? Or are there a pile of them somewhere?
Another look at Undine Rising from the Waters
This dreamy statue featuring gossamer thin carving that’s maintained the color of milk was created by 19th century artist Chauncey Bradley Ive and it’s amazing that he managed to not only make it look as if she’s covered in a flowing white cloth, but somehow he made it look like she’s actually wet. It’s hard to imagine how he could accomplish something skilled, it must have taken painstaking work at the hands of this master craftsman. No one has ever come forward to say that they were his model, but whoever it was must have spent a lot of time draped in white cloth around his studio.