government of the people

government of the peopleI’m just back from Philadelphia, a scrappy Midwestern city on the east coast of America.

Philadelphia is known for art, and more specifically, sculptures. So I took a walk and tried to take in as many sculptures as possible in a few hours. It was raining and very dreary, which was a challenge, but I was determined to see some art.

One of the weirdest sculptures I saw was Government of the People by Jacques Lipchitz. It was created in 1976, and you can tell that it’s a product of the 1970s at first glance.

It’s ugly.

I’m not a fan of surreal art, which means I’m definitely not the audience for this piece. Call me old-fashioned, but I dislike protruding limbs and heads. I’m not a fan of detached body parts that are weirdly sized, and I’m not alone. I read that the mayor tried to withhold the funds for its final commission back in 1976.

(I also read that the mayor was a jerk, but I don’t know anything about that.)

But here we are, today, with a lumpy bronze sculpture near Philadelphia’s city hall. I spent some time trying to figure out what I might like about the sculpture if I weren’t so freaked out by the bulges and the body parts. Turns out, I just don’t like anything about it. That’s okay. I’ll just go look at something else.

So thanks but no thanks, Philly. I like much of your other outdoor art, but Government of the People wasn’t for me.

1 Comment

  1. All of your (accurate) comments on Government of the People apply to represtative democracy. Perhaps that’s the reaction the artist intended.

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