Irish-born poet, writer and all-around icon Oscar Wilde lived a life of flamboyance and persecution. His work was filled with beauty and torment, self-discovery and endless wit. In 1998, a statue celebrating Wilde debuted in central London. The piece, named A Conversation with Oscar Wilde, could easily be confused for a monument mourning the loss of those who fell in the battle of London vs Atlantis. While in an abstract sense the bust celebrates Wilde’s extravagant beauty through texture and natural shapes, it raises the question of what exactly is in that cigarette he’s holding.
Widely considered one of the all-time footballing greats (up there with Diego Maradona, Pelé and British traitor David Beckham), Christiano Ronaldo has cemented his status as the face of soccer in his era. Fitting that his statue looks like cement was poured onto his actual face. Unveiled in 2017 to commemorate Portugal renaming the Madeira International Airport to the Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo, the statue was clowned into oblivion on social media. Later the statue would be amended, proving that often, bullying is quite effective.
Colin Firth as Mr Darcy
Gentleman and heartthrob Colin Firth starred as Mr Darcy in the 1995 TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A statue was later built in his honour, recreating the iconic wet shirt scene. Hours of effort were apprarently put into ensuring each crinkle of the skin-tight shirt hugs the body just right, from the translucent material glued to the pecs, to the thin folds bunched together, now drying slowly in the sun. The face clearly did not receive the same amount of time and effort, but this was clearly the work of creators who knew their priorities.
While Melania Trump probably has more important things going on in her mind at the moment, the Former First Lady of the United States of America has always known how to throw together a killer look. The famous sky-blue Imperial Officer ensemble she wore to her husband’s inauguration was eye-catching, and was chosen as the inspiration for a wood carving near her hometown in Slovenia. Granted the artist used a chainsaw, and traditional arts are always worth celebrating, however, the results are quite striking, capturing Mrs Trump’s signature single ladies’ pose.
One of the defining models of the 90s and beyond, Kate Moss is an international superstar. Capturing the beauty of someone so renowned for their beauty must be a difficult task. British artist Marc Quinn, in a manner slightly too on-the-nose to be considered subtext, opted to create a cast-gold figure of the model in a complex yoga pose. While it went on to sell for over £500,000 at auction, the uncanny, soul-stealing gaze and contorted limbs conjure the image of some face-stealing spider queen. Quite literally worth its weight in gold and nothing more.
Golden age sitcom star Lucille Ball captured the hearts of audiences across the world as the star of 50s sitcom I Love Lucy. In 2009, Ball’s hometown of Celeron, New York, commissioned a statue in her honour. The artist, who has since decided for obvious reasons to stay anonymous, created a fierce, almost sinister-looking tribute. While the show was filled with entertaining pranks, none quite gave the same impression as the statue, offering a spoonful of what could only be considered some kind of horrible poison.
Regarded as the father of modern physics, Albert Einstein was a radical, charismatic genius. Given his famous sense of humor, surely Einstein would have seen the comedic irony of his Georgia Tech statue looking particularly vulnerable to gravity. Sagging, wrinkled and textured like tree bark all over, this piece gives the impression of a small boy cursed by an evil forest witch to live 100 years. Perhaps he broke her window with a rock to demonstrate force.
Hitchcock was a very visually distinctive man, so much so that just his profile is immediately recognizable. The same phenomenon is present with the Gainsborough Studios statue of the esteemed director. It could be a touching homage to Boss Baby, or a tribute to some world-devouring being that the Royals keep sealed beneath Big Ben. Once the penny drops that it’s clearly a representation of Hitchcock, it becomes impossible to un-see, because of how exquisitely they captured his omnipotent aura.
The king of rock and roll and a legend of screen and stage. Presley needs little introduction. So far reaching is his fame, that the Elvis Cafe in Jerusalem has a gold-plated statue proudly on display outside it’s doors. He stands like a sentry, greeting customers with his strangely pointy face. Most comments on the statue note the King’s crown jewels, prominently on display in the statues gilded leggings. It really captures the famous 70% legs and 30% torso ratio Presley was known for.
Dean was the poster boy for teenage angst and disillusionment, helping embolden a spirit of rebellion across America and the world with East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. The bad boy image changes over time, from the leather jackets and pompadours of the past to the modern-day crypto miners who siphon the world’s limited energy for their dumb monkey pictures. Luckily Dean’s style and roguish charm were immortalized in Hollywood with what looks like a liquid metal terminator with their eyes gouged out. Nightmares nightmares nightmares.