Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Butt-Fugly Public Art of the Week-- October 25th

Spirit of Enterprise  by Jacques Lipchitz

Central Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden,

Shitpiece 1, image from philart.net
and Government by the People by Jacques Lipschitz

Thomas Paine Plaza (aka Reyburn Plaza aka Municipal Services Plaza)

and Asspiece 2. Image from philart.net
                     I'm gonna catch plenty of flack for this one. People love these two sculptures, but I think they look like turds. No, literally. This Jacques Lipchitz guy sure likes to make sculptures that sound like his name, that is, Lift Shits. His Prometheus Strangling a Vulture in front of the Art Musuem ain't no picnic either, but it works well where it is. These other two, however, are completely useless other than for Scat Porn.
                  Spirit of Enterprise was commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association in 1950. They wanted a large sculpture from Lift Shits to represent America's "Constructive Enterprise". Ten long years later, this gigantic pile of wasted bronze got installed in the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden. Take a good long look at the picture at the top of the article. Is the eagle standing on the faceless figure's giant dick? Supposedly, the massive cock, large enough for an eagle to perch on, is supposed to be some kind of faceless snake. Suck MY faceless snake, Lift Shits.
                At least Spirit of Enterprise is tucked over on Kelly Drive, so most people only see it for a split second as they speed by. Only joggers and cyclists have to suffer viewing it when passing... serves them right for trying to live forever. Unlike Spirit, Lift Shits' Government by the People is one of the most highly visible pieces of public art in the entire city. An embarrassment, really.
                In 1967, right about the time that the Municipal Services Building was nearing completion, Lift Shits was asked by the city to create a "monumental" sculpture for the shitty-looking plaza. They told him he could choose what to make. Lift Shitz came back to them with this:

One of the plaster sketches of Government by the People
                         The commissioners loved it so much that they named it.. Lift Shits didn't care what it would be called. Somehow, this pile of turds is supposed to represent Democracy. I think it represents Shitocracy. I'm not alone in hating this thing. In 1972, then-mayor Frank Rizzo cut off funding for this mess, thinking it looked like spilled plaster.
                       The Fairmount Park Art Association got involved along with Lift Shits' butt-buddy, PMA guru  R. Sturgis Ingersoll,. They managed to get the 30-foot bronze feces monument installed in 1976. Lift Shits had been dead for three years at that point, never getting to see his shitsterpiece go up. The giant turd that is being lifted by the mishmash of human figures is supposed to represent the flag of Philadelphia. Get the fuck out of here. Way to slap the city with your cock, Lift Shits.


  1. That plaster model for the MSB version isn't so bad compared to what was finally made. How did he go from that to the garbled piece of trash that got installed?

  2. Horrible pieces of pseudo "art"... Is there any truth to this?: Frank Rizzo said that "Government by the People" looked like a "pile of shit" rather than "spilled plaster." I swear I saw this someplace and it would seem to be something Rizzo would say...

  3. I have to say I agree, even though I should'nt,They have always looked like turds to me