The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Claes Oldenburg Met the Poop Emoji
When Claes Oldenburg’s giant Clothespin statue went up at 15th and Market streets in 1976, a city raised on gilded Joans of Arc and bronze Ulysses S. Grants expressed its outrage: This is art?!? Oh yes, it is, better minds assured us, and drove the lesson home with Oldenburg’s giant broken button (on Penn’s campus) and giant three-prong electrical plug (in the Art Museum’s sculpture garden). So by the time Claes installed his giant Paint Torch outside the Academy of the Fine Arts in 2011, we were pretty well beaten down. Oh, there may have been some whispers out of the mouths of babes, but for the most part, the cowed citizenry knew better than to challenge the modern art world. Well, all of us except street artist Kid Hazo, who on April Fools’ Day affixed two eyes and a grinning mouth to the glop of plasticized paint at the foot of the Torch, turning it into a dead ringer for the ubiquitous poop emoji and conveying with admirable concision what we think of the piece.
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