A journey through the most disturbing statues of the world

Matthew Champion@matthewchampion
Tuesday 19 August 2014 13:30

You have to create your life. You have to carve it, like a sculpture.

William Shatner, actor, 2006.

Welcome to Worcester, Massachusetts, home of the Burnside Fountain and Boy With A Turtle.

The statue was built as a tribute to notable lawyer Samuel Burnside by one of his daughters.

A tribute apparently best expressed in the form of a naked boy 'riding' a sea turtle.

Moving swiftly on, and that's a real Volskwagen Beetle - with a Californian licence plate - the Fremont Troll is holding under a bridge in Seattle, Washington.

(Picture: Roshan Vyas)

These faceless babies are the work of David Cerny, from the Czech Republic, the land of Franz Kafka.

In Prague they even climb up things. Take that, Antony Gormley.

(Pictures: Getty)

Prague is something of a haven for Kafka-esque statues. This is Parable With Skull by Jaroslav Rona, at the base of Daliborka Tower.

(Picture: Paolo Rosa)

Rona again, with Kafka's Invisible Man.

(Picture: Jay Galvin)

These slouched, seated capes are the Cloaks of Conscience, by Czech-born Anna Chromy. And they are scattered across Europe.

(Pictures: Cheryl Hammond)

Back in the US, and what better way to welcome someone to terra firma after a long flight than a 32ft tall demonic horse whose eyes flare red at night.

The Blue Mustang - or El Mesteno - is right outside Denver International Airport, and while there's no actual proof it's evil, it is a fact that its sculptor Luis Jimenez died when a portion of the statue fell on him.

(Picture: Lori Greig)

Meanwhile, the residents of Enterprise, Alabama, appear to have taken to worshipping their insect overlords.

The Boll Weevil Monument 'commemorates' the heroic actions of the beetle that devastated cotton-growing areas in the southern US but also convinced Enterprise's enterprising residents to move to lucrative peanuts instead.

(Picture: Flickr/Linda)


(Picture: Great Beyond)

More insects, this time in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, otherwise known as the Mothman capital of the world, at least to Richard Gere fans.

(Picture: Flickr/Adrena)

Why wouldn't you want a statue of a supernatural being blamed for a terrible tragedy in the middle of your town?

(Picture: Billy Liar)


(Picture: M Jerry Goldman)

Why why why.

(Picture: Flickr/Stephen)

This giant eyeball used to be in Chicago, but it's prone to rolling into other cities as well.

(Picture: Seth Anderson)

In other words, nowhere is safe from the 30ft EYE (actual name).

(Picture: Omar Chatriwala)

We're back in Europe now, in the spiritual home of the Nobel Prize movement, Norway's Oslo, to see a naked man fighting off four babies.

(Picture: Ellen Macdonald)

Man Chasing Four Geniuses, to give it its full title, is the work of Gustav Vigeland, who actually designed the Nobel Peace Prize medal.

In Frogner Park he lends his name to an installation of increasingly disturbing statues.

(Picture: Tony Carr)

The park takes visitors on a journey through 200 bronze and granite statues that gradually lead to its central feature, the not-ominous-at-all Monolith .

(Picture: Tony Carr)

Which is made up of hundreds of writhing naked bodies, inexorably reaching for the summit.

(Picture: Tony Carr)


(Picture: Antti T Nissinen)

Sticking with babies, here's Switzerland's Kindlifresserbrunnen - which literally means child eaten fountain.

The mysterious 15th century Bern fountain either represents a blood libel against Jewish people, Krampus from Alpine folklore who punished naughty children at Christmas, or the Greek mythological figure Cronus, who devoured his children after being warned one would one day kill him.

(Pictures: Douglas Brown)

Whatever it is, it's more than a bit disturbing.

The Indian Sculpture Park in Victoria's Way, County Wicklow, Ireland, is meant to represent a spiritual journey of self-enlightenment.

That's strange, because it looks a lot like a man cutting himself in half and an emaciated man drowning in a swamp.

(Picture: Daniel Dudek-Corrigan)
(Picture: Daniel Dudek-Corrigan)

This is Klaus Weber's Big Giving, in which water flows symbolically to and from various disembodied male and female orifices. Yuck.

(Picture: Flickr/hoxtonchina)
(Picture: Grace A)
(Picture: Judy van der Velden)

Finally, meet the Awakening, an installation from J Seward Johnson previously in Washington DC but now in Maryland.

(Picture: Jeff Kubina)

The most disturbing thing about the statue isn't that a giant naked man is emerging from the ground.

(Picture: Adam Fagen)

It's actually the fate he has been consigned to: Forever clawing at the earth, never breaking free.

(Picture: Flickr/chokmule)

While children pose for their parents' Instagram photos.

(Picture: Adam Fagen)
(Picture: Adam Fagen)
(Picture: Geoff Livingston)

Curse you humans.

(Picture: Dave White)

Curse you.

(Picture: Dave White)