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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I’ve Always Hated This Thing

posted by on October 15 at 9:25 AM


It’s called “Monument with Standing Beast” and it’s by some French dude called “Jean Dubuffet” and it’s been terrifying Chicago since 1985. On the upside, it draws the eye from the far uglier State of Illinois Center that it’s plopped in front of. And, yeah, I’m obsessed.

But what do you think, Jen?

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Still not calling it the James R. Thompson Center, I see.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 15, 2008 9:52 AM

I sorta like it... at least a lot more than the man-boy fountain (even if I don't think it's about molestation).

Posted by leek | October 15, 2008 9:55 AM

Luckily, we make up for bad art in front of the State of James Illinois Thompson Center with such masterpieces this.

Posted by David | October 15, 2008 10:00 AM

Without the knowledge to properly post a link, I'll just paste the url...

Posted by David | October 15, 2008 10:02 AM

Yeah, I had no clue what you were talking about with the "State of Illinois" building stuff. It's the Thompson Center.

I hate that sculpture, but for some reason have always loved the Picasso across the street at the Daley center. I think it's because it's interactive -- there's always kids playing on it and sliding down the big slanty part.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 15, 2008 10:04 AM

I'd gladly stare at this eyesore if it meant I was in Chicago.

Posted by Nay | October 15, 2008 10:06 AM

1. Much/most public art sucks.
2. Supporters of public art often say that's the pont. Weird huh?
3. Best public art is integrated into the building or structure, like Paris Metro, and is not tagged on.
4. Go up to City Hall and look at their rotating public art in the various hallways. One of them looks like a slab of concrete that's cut in the middle. This is under glass on a cube stand. It has a title that's some abstract word. Typical. I wonder did it cost $1000 or $5000? I have a few chunks of conrete I can donate if they want more of this genre.

Posted by PC | October 15, 2008 10:08 AM

I actually like this. But I tend to like Dubuffet. But you're right about the building. The building sucks.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 15, 2008 10:12 AM

Former Chicago boy here as well and Dan, you're right.

Posted by MyDogBen | October 15, 2008 10:14 AM

The terrible chicken salad I just ate from lunch was also "dubuffet"

Posted by notshowalter | October 15, 2008 10:15 AM

The problem with that damn thing is that it's painted, and it's always dirty at the bottom from rain splash and people spitting/pissing/spilling things on it.

Posted by Banna | October 15, 2008 10:17 AM

PC, obviously you don't get art.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 15, 2008 10:34 AM

late debuffet is not the best debuffet. however, it is better than 90% of seattle's public art. go look at the north tower of qwest field next time you think debuffet sucks.

Posted by max solomon | October 15, 2008 10:43 AM

Looks like a piece of the set leftover from the orignal Planet of the Apes movie. Or a wedding cake designed by Picasso.

Posted by Andy Niable | October 15, 2008 10:45 AM

I only like this sculpture for its unofficial name: "Snoopy in a Blender". The State of Illinois building would look 1000% better if they did something with the blue and orange panels. The atrium is teh awesome.

Posted by Charles T. Duck | October 15, 2008 10:47 AM

I remember when someone drove their Geo Metro into the Thompson Center about, oh, 10 years ago...and sadly, they missed this piece of crap on the way in.

Posted by Joseph J. Finn | October 15, 2008 10:52 AM

Some French dude called “Jean Dubuffet?” Jeezis man...Dubuffet was a freakin' giant. He basically invented art brut and gave birth to the entire "Outsider Art" movement. There wouldn't be no Henry Darger, Martin Ramirez or Gregory Blackstock without Dubuffet. You don't have the love the sculpture, but give the man his propers!

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 15, 2008 10:58 AM

Oh my god, that thing is my favorite. Not just because it antagonizes the graceful swoops and steel of Chicago's Calder and Picasso so well, but because of what #11 so gracelessly points out: the City of Chicago wanted a mammoth piece by a mammoth French artist, and Dubuffet's gift was a mammoth space to shoot up and take a shit and piss. You can't really know that piece until you've experienced the stench of rotting urine and feces that encompasses it. Fucking brilliant.

Posted by johna | October 15, 2008 11:13 AM

The ugliest block in the city!

Posted by Scott in Chi-town | October 15, 2008 11:13 AM

We have one really similar to that in Houston, but it's bigger, and has blue and red as well. Some of the pieces vaguely resemble cellos, and you can walk inside it and make your voice echo. That takes about 2 seconds, then you continue walking.

Posted by Amanda | October 15, 2008 11:18 AM

There is a great Dubuffet installation in the Pompidou in Paris. It's a whole room done in that style that you can walk into.

Posted by David Wright | October 15, 2008 11:58 AM

Dan, you have missed the boat on this one-DuBuffett is great fun. This is not his best piece but it still makes me smile. Good thing there's enough public art that everybody can find something to hate. Me? Claus Oldenberg's giant baseball bat.

Posted by pastrychef | October 15, 2008 1:00 PM

Isn't that what sank the Titanic?

Posted by Vince | October 15, 2008 4:21 PM

Looks like a "wedding cake designed by Picasso"? Sounds like a dream. I kind of love it.

Posted by jamey braden | October 17, 2008 12:29 PM

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