10Best: Weird & Interesting Public Art

  • Crown Fountain - Chicago

    The most famous work of public art in Chicago's Millennium Park might be Cloud Gate ("The Bean"), but it's not the strangest. That honor goes to Crown Fountain, an interactive fountain by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, consisting of two glass brick towers that depict giant faces "spitting" onto the sidewalk below.

    Photo courtesy of Anders Sandberg

  • The Traveling Man - Dallas

    Located in Deep Ellum in the heart of Downtown Dallas, The Traveling Man installation by Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg consists of three stainless steel robot-like statues meant to evoke the spirit of the multicultural, music-centric neighborhood.

    Photo courtesy of Marco Becerra

  • Le Pouce - Paris

    In the middle of La Défense, one of the biggest business districts in Paris, you'll be hard pressed to miss the giant, 40-foot-tall, 18-ton thumb entitled Le Pouce. Built in 1965, the sculpture depicts César Baldaccini's (the artist's) own thumb in all its wrinkly detail.

    Photo courtesy of brunolaon

  • Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada - Rhyolite, Nevada

    About 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the upper Mojave Desert, you'll find one of the most bizarre collections of sculptural art in the nation at the free-to-the-public Goldwell Open Air Museum. Among the permanent collection of installations is the towering pink Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada by Belgian sculptor Hugo Heyrman.

    Photo courtesy of Patrick Yodarus

  • Device to Root Out Evil - Vancouver

    Initially installed in Vancouver, American sculptor Dennis Oppenheim's Device to Root Out Evil was deemed too controversial by the city and was relocated to Calgary. The artist behind the work claimed he felt flipping the likeness of a church upside down made it seem more aggressive, rather than blasphemous.

    Photo courtesy of Bill Longstaff

  • Giant Clothespin - Leige, Belgium

    Visitors to Chaudfontaine Park in the outskirts of Leige, Belgium will likely see the giant work of art by Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal. The sculpture appears to be a giant clothespin pinching the grass in a very realistic manner.

    Photo courtesy of Hitman KIRA

  • Rubber Duck - Multiple Locations

    According to the artist's webpage, the series of larger-than-life art pieces known collectively as The Rubber Duck "knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation." So far, Florentijn Hofman's The Rubber Duck has shown up in Beijing, Pittsburgh, Sydney and Hong Kong (among others), so you never know where you might see it next.

    Photo courtesy of M. Lehmkuhler

  • Blue Bear - Denver

    The Denver Convention Center is perhaps best known for the 40-foot-tall voyeuristic animal peeking through the windows. Lawrence Argent, the creator of Blue Bear, felt the piece injected a sense of fun into the convention center experience, and now it's become one of the city's most famous landmarks.

    Photo courtesy of Joel Gillman

  • Fremont Troll - Seattle

    You might think trolls are just the stuff of fairy tales, but not so in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. The Fremont Troll, created by a team led by Steve Badanes, lurks beneath the Aurora Bridge clutching a Volkswagen Beetle in its giant fingers.

    Photo courtesy of Sue

  • Digital Orca - Vancouver

    If you miss out on spotting some real killer whales while in Vancouver, fret not! You're guaranteed to see one at the Vancouver Convention Center, where Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca appears to leap from the sidewalk.

    Photo courtesy of Chris Morisawa