Title: "Broken but Unbowed"
Location: Wingra Park, Madison, WI
Artist: Mother Nature
This obelisk was sculpted by the artist several years ago when straight-line winds knocked down most of this majestic, ancient oak, nearly hitting the house across the street and leaving only a barren, stark and postmodern section of trunk standing. The wrk acquired its status as public art when the Madison Parks Department made a decision not to cut it down, but to preserve it as an artifact instead. Many consider it to be one of Madison's finest works of public art.
Title: "Nail's Tales"
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Artist: Acclaimed artist and UW alum Donald Lipski
The work, commissioned by the Wisconsin Arts Board’s Percent for Art program, was erected on its pedestal at Breese Terrace and Regent Street on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005.
Called “Nail’s Tales,” the concrete, steel, stone and resin sculpture, uses the ancient form of an obelisk — a form similar in shape to the Washington Monument — from which emerges a towering pile of footballs.The artist's 2000 exhibit, "Donald Lipski: A Brief History of Twine," opened at the old Madison Art Center, which organized it, before traveling to the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston and the Chicago Cultural Center.
“I tried to make it whimsical and at the same time have a sort of stateliness and elegance that I thought was in keeping with the bigger traditions of the university,” says Lipski, a UW graduate.
On the street, "Nail's Tales" was greeted by howling, straight-line winds of laughter and punning sexual references, often employing disease as a metaphor. Local media were not much kinder.
Conclusion to be drawn, if any: When erecting a large, phallic work of public art, use real wood.