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As I See It

Hatched Baby shows beauty is in the eye of the beholder



When it comes to art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art can stir strong emotions, both positive and negative. Few pieces of art in the city of La Crosse have triggered as many emotions as the Hatched Baby statue outside City Hall. Most of those reactions have been negative, with critics of the statue calling it ugly, or scary. But not all art needs to be pretty. It can be meant to stir other emotions. In the case of the Hatched Baby, it was designed by the artist to represent his fears of parenthood. That explains the giant head and big sharp teeth. But there is no justification, no matter how strong a person’s feelings about a piece of art, for it to be vandalized, yet that is what happened to the blue baby over the weekend. It may have been the work of some drunken college students. It has all the markings of a prank. We don’t know who did this yet, or why.  But it raises the question, why do people get so upset about works of art they don’t like? People don’t expect to like every book that has been written or every piece of music that has been recorded. But some openly cheer the destruction of this piece of art. Remember, art is designed to spur emotion, but not all of them happiness. So remember, before tearing apart a statue or other piece of art that you don’t like, that if it doesn’t speak to you, maybe you shouldn’t speak to it.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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