The best art makes you think. The following monuments and sculptures definitely meet that criterion. These public works of art are some of the most bizarre, head-scratch-inducing pieces in the U.S.
You’ll find everything from giant utensils to flying fish on this list. Here are the 15 most bizarre public monuments and sculptures in the U.S.
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There’s nothing out of the ordinary about an equestrian sculpture. What is out of the ordinary, however, is seeing a team of horses in the middle of a busy plaza. That’s what you’ll find at Williams Square in Las Colinas, Texas.
Texas businessman Ben H. Carpenter commissioned African artist Robert Glen to build a sculpture portraying wild mustangs in 1976. The lifelike bronze sculpture includes nine lifelike mustangs running through a watercourse in the middle of a busy downtown area.
Address: 5221 N. O'Connor Road, Suite 110E, Irving, Texas 75039
Peaceful isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind when you think about New York. So it may seem a little odd to find a nude woman meditating in the middle of the Big Apple. American sculptor Paige Bradley put her name on the map with this 2004 bronze sculpture.
The sculpture represents a naked woman meditating in the lotus position, with light radiating from cracks in her body. Expansion takes the meaning of enlightenment to a whole new level.
Keep Portland Weird is a popular slogan in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps that’s what sculptor Keith Jellum intended to when he made Transcendence. The sculpture portrays a huge metal salmon being thrown through the corner bricks of the South Park Restaurant in Portland. The 11-foot bronze sculpture is a reminder of Portland’s unique foodie culture.
Address: 901 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR
The peace sign is the standard symbol for pro-peace messages. That’s not the case outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Knotted Gun is a bronze sculpture depicting a giant Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with a knotted barrel pointing to the sky. Swedish sculptor Fredrik Reutersward created it after the death of John Lennon. It’s since been donated to the U.N. as a pro-peace symbol for world leaders.
Address: 1st Ave., New York, NY
One of Philadelphia’s most iconic sculptures is Break Through From Your Mold. The 20-foot long, eight-foot-high sculpture literally depicts the struggle for freedom. The bronze sculpture portrays a man breaking out of a mold in a series of four positions. Freedom never looked so strange.
Address: 1537 Vine St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
Everything is bigger in Texas. At least that’s the case at Pioneer Plaza. That’s the home to Cattle Drive, the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. The sculpture honors the historic cattle drives that occurred along the Shawnee Trail in the 1800s. It consists of 49 six-foot steers being rounded up by three cowboy riders.
Address: Young St, Pioneer Plaza, Dallas, TX
Cloud Gate is an iconic elliptical sculpture in the middle of downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park. It’s served as a backdrop for countless tourist photos over the years and is one of the most recognizable structures in Chicago. The 110-ton sculpture is 66-feet long, 33-feet high and has a 12-foot arch. It’s made from stainless steel plates that reflect Chicago’s vibrant downtown scene.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Chicago
Address: Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602
Work got you down? You might want to head to the Ernst & Young Building in Los Angeles. That’s the home of the Corporate Head statue created by Terry Allen. The sculpture depicts a helpless businessman with his head stuck in the side of the building. The sculpture is a critique on corporate America and its impact on the average worker.
Address: 725 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA
A Crocodile eating a Capitalist is exactly what you’d expect. It’s a bronze sculpture featuring a smiling crocodile in the middle of devouring a businessman. The sculpture is known for its cartoonish qualities, namely the crocodile’s human hands and the businessman’s moneybag head.
Address: 14th St., New York, NY
The “Show Me” state isn’t messing around. The Giant Fork sculpture is a 35-foot tall, 11-ton depiction of everyone’s favorite utensil. The fork was once located outside a now defunct restaurant, but has since been moved near a three-story ad agency building. A plaque dubbing the work "The World’s Largest Fork" accompanies the sculpture.
Address: 2215 W Chesterfield St, Springfield, MO 65807
The Great Depression Breadline Statue will make you appreciate modern times. That’s because its one of the harshest depictions of the Great Depression era. The sculpture portrays five males waiting in line for food. The figures all have downcast eyes and long coats, serving as a reminder of the extreme conditions during one of the darker periods in American history.
Address: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Washington DC, DC
The Awakening brings the phrase “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” to a whole new level. The 72-foot statue depicts a giant struggling to free himself from the Earth. The bearded giant is shown screaming as his limbs protrude from the ground. J. Seward Johnson, Jr. created the statue from five separate pieces of aluminum.
Address: 137 National Plz, National Harbor, MD 20745
Walking to the Sky might as well be renamed “Stairway to Heaven.” The sculpture shows seven figures climbing a 100-foot-tall stainless steel pole. The pole is at a steep 75-degree angle, and several of the figures are depicting looking upwards towards the sky.
Address: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Metalmorphosis, much like metamorphosis, has to do with transformation. The 14-ton sculpture consists of roughly 40 steel pieces grouped into segments that rotate. When the pieces come together, they form a giant mirrored head that spits water into a pool. Metalmorphosis is large, strange, and most importantly, mesmerizing work of art.
Address: 3700 Arco Corporate Dr, Charlotte, NC 28273
For years, Charging Bull was a stand-alone bronze statue depicting the fearlessness of Wall Street. That was, until Fearless Girl was installed in 2017. Fearless Girl depicts a girl with her hands on her hips proudly staring down Charging Bull. Fearless Girl was constructed to send a positive message of workplace gender diversity on the male-dominated Wall Street scene.
Address: 26 Broadway, New York City, NY 10004