Ed Harrington 7th January 2019
There are always debates regarding what makes something “good” or “bad” art. There are probably as many essays on the subject as there are pieces of art. After all, isn’t art all about questioning itself? About asking a fundamental question about the sublime and the beautiful? About wondering, “What the fuck is that?”
It is important to document our frustrations towards art, and the people in the list below have some strong opinions on famous art and architecture…
The Sibelius Monument
“Piles of Steel Pipes.
“One of the top-attractions in Helsinki, and lord knows why. Helsinki has plenty of better things to offer, no need to visit this ugly, artificial socialist-realist statue. I feel embarrassed every time I see tourist busses parked on the street in front of the statue.
“This piece of art has nothing to do with Sibelius.” — LaurIK 143 ,Tripadvisor
This point of view is fairly justified. Apparently the sculptor Elia Hultinen who designed it was also asked to add Sibelius’s face to the sculpture at a later date as the arrangement of organ pipes did not represent the majority of Sibelius’s work, however “piles of steel pipes” may just be a touch too cruel…
“Unimpressed. It didn’t feel anything special. Go to Rome. It’s a city that will blow your socks off.” — Stewart F, Tripadvisor
It is not obvious here as to whether they’re unimpressed with just the Brandenburg Gate or Berlin as a city, but Stu’s job on the Rome tourist board is definitely secure.
Basically everything in the Museum of Modern Art
“Ridiculous and pretentious.
“We had heard good things about MOMA, and as we enjoy a bit of culture and counterculture we were expecting good things.
“Art, they say, is subjective. So is opinion. And in our opinion, this was a waste of time and money. Some of the ‘exhibits’ and studies were pretentious rubbish. Save for a few, and I meant scant few, examples — if MOMA burnt down tomorrow, to replace half the stuff in there you’d get change out of $20.
“I mean chairs, hung off a girder… I’ve dabbled in the odd recreational in years gone by, but nothing that could make me see the motivation for that — it looks like your janitor got bored whilst clearing up.
“This is the place for you if
a) you know no better — like us
b) you’re a hipster who sees dirty paint trays as ‘meaningful’
c) you have time and money to waste
“You have been warned!” — Mr JonRD, Tripadvisor
Havis Amanda Fountain
People are not too happy with the depiction of the Havis Amanda in Helsinki either. The fountain monument was created to symbolise rebirth for Helsinki.
“When we were in Helsinki we walked to the mermaid, expecting something like in Copenhagen. However, when we arrived there, we couldn’t find the mermaid. We looked around and found two small mermaids in the park. But those couldn’t be the famous statue. Oh, there was a statue — not of a mermaid but of a woman. We asked around and then we heard that this was the statue…
“So don’t bother coming here. It’s just a statue like dozens of other statues in the city.” — Ronaldo 070, Tripadvisor
Like the Brandenburg Gate review, the last line of this one seems to suggest that it is not just the art piece but the location that is bothering them. Or perhaps Ronaldo’s disappointment lies in his insatiable lust for mermaids.
The Horn of Amalthea
The Horn of Amalthea in Crete is a sculpture based on Greek Mythology and the story of Amalthea’s Horn. The sculpture lights up with a blue streak at night, looking elegant and minimal. However, it is not accepted by everyone.
“It’s a piece of metal! Don’t quite get this attraction. It’s a piece of metal in the shape of a horn. Rather like the one at Blackpool on the front which plays a tune when the wind blows through it!” — Birmingham2016, Tripadvisor
The end summary here is deeply confusing. The Blackpool sculpture could be the most elegant, most beautiful, most intimate sculpture in humanity’s vast history of self-expression, but it would still lose out to the Horn because it’s in fucking Blackpool.
Cloud Gate aka The Bean
Tracy B is not impressed by Anish Kapoor’s mercury-inspired Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago.
“All I can think about is the wasted expense of this blob. I’m not sure of the attraction to this eyesore. I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life and when I see it, it reminds me of why it was purchased and the big waste of tax money.” –Tracy B, Tripadvisor
Tracy has a point. Why spend any money on making your surrounding more beautiful and interesting? In fact, why have any art at all?
Taking the final place, Calder’s Flamingo is a sculpture by artist Alexander Calder which is also situated in Chicago. This review comes as a warning to all flamingo lovers out there to beware of this insult of a sculpture. Lenore, in one breathtakingly beautiful, grammatically liberated, run-on sentence explains:
“NOT MY KIND OF FLAMINGO
“i do not want to hurt the feelings of the person that built this but it is not anything i like i do not think some one would want to show that and call it a work of art if it looked more like a flamingo i would like it im sure i love all kinds of art i do this must be a new kind of art i think it is called abstract art but that should not have a name of an object that to me dose not sound good i would love to see some one make some of bird or a design that looks like a bird cat dog or some thing like that to me it would be so nice not just a twisted piece of metal they have twisted metal sculptures all over the city im not a fan of this kind of art it is all over” — Lenore J, Tripadvisor
Can Lenore review more art, please?
Main image 📷 Ed Schipul
Ed Harrington 7th January 2019