Back in 2004, Hank Robar wanted to get a property he owned in Potsdam, NY rezoned so that he could open a donut store there. His application was rejected, and in response Robar created a "toilet garden" — which consisted of rows of old toilets with poles behind them. The toilets had flowers in them. The 'toilet garden' was apparently allowed under local zoning laws because it was "art."
Since 2004, Robar has battled with the local government over other properties, and as a result Potsdam has been home to a number of his toilet gardens. He's currently in the process of creating a new one.
Update: It says here that Robar's toilets are legal not because they're art, per se, but because they have flowers in them, so he can claim that they're planter boxes, which are allowed under zoning laws. Also, he's not the only guy who's thought of displaying toilets as a protest against local government.
So often here on WU we see "art' displayed in museums or galleries that is anything but artistic. Well, here is some beautifully done, intricate artwork found just lying in the streets of Japan. Manhole covers.
Chicago-based artist Alex Solis has a series of illustrations that show predators doing what they do best — killing — but simultaneously being adorable. My cat reminds me of this paradox on a regular basis, that what is adorably cute can also be a brutally efficient killer.
Anish Kapoor's new sculpture, temporarily on display in the gardens of Versailles, is creating a bit of a row after he told a French newspaper that it represents "the vagina of a queen who is taking power." Critics say it looks like "the entrance to a storage unit," or "a vast, brutish, metal, grubby-looking, gaping funnel into a black hole." Kapoor concedes that his work has "multiple interpretive possibilities."
For for Frieze art fair in New York, performance artist Kris Lemsalu is lying very still for three-and-a-half hours beneath a giant fake turtle shell decorated with giant rhinestones. And that's it. She calls it an inhabited sculpture. [forbes.com]
Tourists visiting the Strokkur geyser in Iceland were startled to see that it had turned a bright shade of pink. The reason: the Chilean artist Marco Evaristti had surreptitiously dumped pink food coloring into it, explaining that he did this in the name of art. He called his creation "Pink State." Icelandic authorities responded by putting him in jail for 15 days. The geyser has now returned to its normal color. [grapevine.is]