Bad statues have been all over this week’s news; first, the Times announces that a misogynistic statue in Queens will finally move to a Brooklyn cemetery, then Penn State removed its statue of football coach Joe Paterno. This marks the latest in a now-time-honored tradition of bad statues; see our top nine after the jump!
1. Winds of Change at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Houston, TX
Toot toot! Here blow the Winds of Change. This statue of George H. W. Bush at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport may not be so recent, but it provides endless joy for generations of tourists. Welcome to Texas.
2. George Washington as Zeus. The National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
Try wiping this topless George Washington image from your brain. Sculptor Horatio Greenough’s statue of Washington-as-Zeus once sat in the Capitol Rotunda, but was soon consigned to the Capitol lawn, then buried in the Smithsonian, and finally washed up in the National Museum of American History. Maybe it's finally time for a comeback; Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, anybody?
3. Forever Marilyn, Palm Springs
Once again, wind depicted in statues, in general, runs a certain risk. But that doesn’t seem to pose a problem in Palm Springs, California, where Marilyn moved after a series of attacks in Chicago. Residents seem happy to have her. The LA Times reports that the sculpture is only slated to stay in Palm Springs until June 2013, so who knows: next stop, Brooklyn!
4. Harry Caray. Wrigley Field, Chicago
Art Fag City editor Will Brand observed that this looks like all of the Ghostbusters characters combined: take Bill Murray, add some Stay Puft man, a pinch of puking ghost, and Voila! Sportscaster Harry Caray, rising from the dead on a shrieking wave of heads! He's been a vandal favorite since moving to Wrigley Field in 2010.
5. Barry. Indonesia
It’s little Barry. You know— Barack! Indonesia affectionately dons our leader with a butterfly, commemorating his signature childlike whimsy in bronze. Following national outcry over Facebook, the statue was moved from a park to a nearby elementary school which he attended as a child. We’re surprised they didn’t just do that in the first place.
6. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.
And who could forget the boatload of blunders in this Chinese-designed MLK memorial? Not only is it white, but the massive stone engraving misquotes the civil rights leader. So. not. fixable.
Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post compared this to the carbonite Han Solo. To be fair, he does look as though he’s jumping into lightspeed.
7. Civic Virtue, Queens
Months before Weinergate, Anthony Weiner campaigned for the removal of the Queens statue Triumph of Civic Virtue, this statue of a guy stomping on women representing "Vice" and "Corruption." That didn’t pan out, but Queens residents are now in luck! According to a report last week from the New York Daily News, the city has hatched a “secret plan” to move the statue to a Brooklyn cemetery. We think that's great— not that the statue is still standing, but that we can agree that even a Classical-style marble sculpture can be stupid.
8. Bewitched. Salem, MA
In 2005, TV Land gifted the town of Salem with this statue of Samantha from “Bewitched.” And what could possibly be wrong with that? Despite the town’s previous observance of “Bewitched Day,” people were upset about its proximity to the courthouse where people were tried for witchcraft. Apparently, nobody noticed she’s riding a giant turd.
9. Bruce Lee. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Turbo-folk is a burning of a nation. Turbo-folk is not music. Turbo-folk is the beloved of the masses,” said singer-songwriter Rambo Amadeus in the late 1980s. He coined the term as a joke, but "turbo sculpture" soon came to encapsulate a very real rise of celebrity-love amidst the post-war Eastern European cultural crisis. This 2005 bronze of Bruce Lee, the first of its kind, was vandalized and stripped of his nunchuks only hours after his unveiling. He was followed by statues of Rocky Balboa and Samantha Fox in Serbia, a monument to Johnny Weissmuller in Romania, and many more.