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As I See It

As I See It

Wisconsin's longest running daily commentary, a daily tradition since 1971.

Friday - March 16, 2018 6:01 am

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is certainly true when it comes to displays of public art in La Crosse. Residents have spent a lot of time debating the merits of certain pieces of art on display throughout the city. The Hiawatha statue in Riverside Park is one example, with some suggesting the statue is offensive to native Americans and should come down. And it is certainly true with the newest piece of public art about to go on display. It is called “Hatched Blue Baby” and it will be hard to miss when it is installed next month outside City Hall. It is a nine foot statue of a blue baby poking its head out of a cracked white egg. The baby is menacing with a huge head, wide eyes and fully grown teeth. It was created by an artist from La Crosse's sister city in Germany and is on loan to La Crosse. But what could it possibly mean? According to the artist, it was inspired by the birth of his daughter, and have to do with the anxieties the artist associates with parenthood. Critics say the sculpture shows an infant with a physical and emotional power rarely afforded to small children. I don't know what that even means. And I'm not particularly fond of the piece as it is a bit scary to look at. But if we only displayed art that everyone likes, or makes people feel comfortable, what kind of art would that be? Perhaps sometimes we need a little poke to make us re-evaluate how we see the world. This sculpture certainly does that.

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