The Chronicles of Venice, Part IX – Naked Kid With A Frog

Please believe me when I say that this was one of the most entertaining things I saw in Venice the whole trip. We were just wandering around the bend (…it makes sense if you look at a map of Venice) when suddenly – naked kid with a frog.

There was no explanation, no plaque, nothing. Just a bunch of tourists looking curiously at the naked with with a frog (no that’s not the actual name but the official title isn’t much better, I’ll tell you in a bit)

And a police officer.

I’d hate to be that guy – can you imagine? Down at the police officer…headquarters…(I don’t watch enough CSI-type shows to remember off the top of my head what it’s called, lol) that must be the worst job ever for when you’ve completely screwed up…to go and stand at the end of a little peninsula in Venice staring at a seven, eight foot tall marble kid’s nekkid butt.

Oh yes and he’s holding a frog.

Why? I have no idea.

And I didn’t have internet on my phone back in Italy so here’s what I found out just now:

The name of the actual piece is called “Boy with frog”, and of course, of course it’s by the American artist Charles Ray. Can we Americans just not embarrass ourselves for once? It was introduced to Venice in the week of June 4th, 2009. Here’s an actual excerpt from the NYT press release article:

At sunset that evening, at a cocktail party in his honor on a terrace overlooking the sculpture, Mr. Ray discussed the piece. “He’s a classic model,” he said of the boy, a family friend of about 12 who posed for him. “He’s not presenting the frog to Venice but just looking at it as if he’s just lifted it from the water.”

Wut. I’m sorry, I know I’m not the brightest when it comes to modern art, but what on earth makes it okay for an American to place a naked kid in Venice? Holding a frog?

Or maybe I”m just looking way too politically into this and it really is, like the Red Wheelbarrow, just a naked kid holding a frog. How unfortunate.

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