Public art is a form of art that is created for the public and intended to be viewed by people. It can be a sculpture or a painting, and it can also be a site-specific installation that is designed for the specific location in which it is located.
The purpose of public art can be to aesthetically beautify a space, educate the public about art, celebrate a historical event, or serve as a way to communicate messages and create awareness about important topics. It can also be used to represent a community’s values and ethos.
Often, public art is funded through taxes or fundraisers by local residents. It’s usually permanent, and it’s made with materials that can withstand the elements.
Sometimes, controversy arises over public artworks. This can be because of the artist who was chosen to complete the work, the location, the statement the art makes or simply because the public doesn’t like where their tax money is going.
Some of the most controversial works of public art include the Parthenon Marbles, a set of sculptures that were removed from the Parthenon in Athens and are now on display at the British Museum. Others include the Bouquet of Tulips, a sculpture by Jeff Koons that was given to Paris as a gift after the terrorist attacks there in 2016.
Monumentality has long been a popular subject for artists, but the concept has taken on new meaning in the post-war era. While sculptors still make monuments of bronze, stone, and other material, they are increasingly removing them from their original sites in an attempt to re-imagine and reclaim monumentality.
The removal of a monument can be a challenging process for both the public and the artist. It can be a frustrating experience for the people who have worked hard to maintain the monument, and it can leave an impact on the city in which it is placed.
Another problem that public artworks encounter is redevelopment. Many of these works are situated in late 1950s and 1960s civic or commercial buildings that are now being demolished and refurbished, and they can be difficult to remove without community consultation.
It is therefore vital for a work of public art to be carefully selected and considered for its location. This is especially the case for works of art that have been installed in a public space for several decades.
Moreover, the placement of sculptures in public spaces has to be in the interest of both the artist and the public. For example, sculptures that are placed in public parks and squares must be attractive, safe for pedestrians and children, and accessible to all.
The most successful examples of public sculpture are those that are interactive and encourage hands-on interaction. These types of art often contain musical, light, or water components that allow for direct human-to-human interaction.