I think this is the first time I’ve written about a sculpture I don’t like. This one – and sorry, I forgot to record the name and piece or the artist – is another that’s semi-hidden on the grounds of the National Arts Centre. It’s another that I walk by every day on my way to work. But unlike Terre des homes I really dislike this one. This one actually deserves to be hidden.

I feel like the artist just kind of phoned it in. Okay, in fairness, I have no idea about the circumstances of the piece’s creation. Maybe it’s just something the NAC bought, or maybe it was a gift. But I like to think that it was commissioned. And I like to picture this as the artist’s end of the conversation with the person who commissioned it:

  • “What’s that, you say? It’s for a place that hosts an orchestra? How would you feel about some wonky cello-lookin’ piece of crap?”
  • “No, no, I’ll make it shiny to distract people from how little work I’m gonna put into this thing.”
  •  “Okay, you have my bank account info. Bye”

That’s probably not exactly how it happened. But it’s like the artist took all the visual trappings of music – the treble clef, a cello, a guitar, the f-hole, a quarter note – and jammed it all together into one unsightly piece of crap.

Look, it’s not that shiny sculpture can’t be great. The giant shiny bean in Chicago was enthralling – and that’s basically just a giant sphere! – but this is just ugly.

I guess I should take solace in the fact that this piece of art at least produces a reaction – even if it is just a desire to throw up.


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