A couple months ago is saw video news report on an entry in an art competition called Art Prize in Michigan’s second largest city Grand Rapids that consisted of four nude sculpture. The news report and public response was interested so checked it out to what all the fuss was about. I went to see the entry in question and get a sense of public reaction. The perception of Grand Rapids in the news is that it is a prudish town with a strong conservative Christian ethos. The back story on Art Prize it is an effort by one of the city’s most prominent philantropisst to bring some “cool” and art flavor the city.
The entry in question is on exhibit at Devos Place the city’s convention center coincidently named after the same prominent family. There were several entries on display at the location, though the sculptures were the only ones outside. Some of the reaction I overheard was “OMG”, “oh why here?”, “What is he trying to say?”, and some giggles. One mother allowed her daughter to climb on the scupture of the woman, despite the sign saying do not touch.
In general most people looked, registered their response and moved on to other exhibits. There was nothing lewd or inappropriate about the pieces which were of different shapes and sizes represents both gender and different ages and body types. While the entry did not make the final cut of entries it seemed a bold step in the right direction have them represent the body natural on display.
What do you think do you think they would be displayed in your public square?
- Nude ArtPrize sculpture at DeVos Place not the first controversial public art for South Haven artist (mlive.com)
- Nude sculpture in public at ArtPrize 2013; should anyone care? (mlive.com)
- GVSU sculpture used in nude parody of Miley Cyrus ‘Wrecking Ball’ video to be reinstalled (mlive.com)
- Michiganders hold serve at ArtPrize 2013 (michiganderspost.com)