Public art often elicits strong reactions, from the 1980s battle in New York surrounding the removal of Richard Serra’s massive steel Tilted Arc to recent sneers that a three-story bronze of Marilyn Monroe, skirt blown in the air, provided Chicagoans little more than an opportunity for tasteless selfies. What critics hail a masterpiece, taxpayers may deem an eyesore, and often the only thing remaining is a deeper rift between the two. Yet despite the ever-present risk of offending somebody, each year American cities fund ambitious, sometimes-brilliant ideas from all kinds of artists. Here is a sampling of some of the most eye-catching public installations on view this spring and summer.
“Residents of New York” by Andres Serrano (New York)
The nonprofit More Art is staging photographer Andres Serrano's “full occupation” of New York City’s West Fourth Street subway station this month by plastering its walls with dozens of large-scale portraits of homeless people. Other images and documentation from the project will be on view at the Judson Memorial Church, around Washington Square, and in telephone booths throughout the city.
Courtesy of More Art