Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wind up

We’ve always had a soft spot for inflatable sculpture. The sight of Paul McCarthy’s Complex Shit in the Middelheim Museum’s park outside Antwerp is not easy to forget and Michael Parekowhai’s Jim McMurtry lying in state in Auckland Museum’s Maori Court was a sensation. But artists aren’t the only ones to create inflatable sculpture. In the world of protest inflatables have just the weight to make a big point in any confrontation. 

Anyone who has spent time in New York will be familiar with Scabby the repulsively grimy inflatable rat that Unions park outside recalcitrant businesses. Greenpeace is another master of inflationary art in the service of protest. Here's a roundup of some of the best.

Images: Top to bottom, left to right. Demo pig in 1920s Soviet Russia, Unions bring out a Capitalist Pig and Scabby the rat, Greenpeace’s inflatable whale in Valparaiso, Chile. Unions use scissors and Greenpeace turns to the toilet bowl to make a point. Australians against Japanese whaling. PETA supplying the elephant in the room against circus abuse and a giant pill comes to town for HIV awareness in New Delhi, India.