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★ Cool Sculptures & Public Art Installations | Outdoor 3D Street Artwork ★

Updated on March 2, 2015
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Best Public Art Sculptures & 3D Artwork

Art sculptures are everywhere. They can be made from almost any material from scrap metal to sand, they can be tiny or huge, they can be modern or traditional, and they can be permanent or temporary.

On this page I have compiled photos of the best (and my personal favourite) sculptures, all of which are found in outdoor public spaces so that anyone can go to visit and appreciate them.

I've also provided links to online galleries of the best, the most famous and the strangest sculptures in the world, as well as public art installations such as the 'Little People' miniature street art creations.

I hope you find this page interesting and find the sculptures as impressive as I do :-)

LOVE

Located in Love Plaza, Philadelphia, PA. The water behind the sculpture was turned pink for breast cancer awareness month (October).
Located in Love Plaza, Philadelphia, PA. The water behind the sculpture was turned pink for breast cancer awareness month (October). | Source
50 Sculptures You Should Know (You Should Know (Prestel))
50 Sculptures You Should Know (You Should Know (Prestel))

A showcase of some of the most iconic sculptures; some made by the greatest artists of all time.

 

Fremont Troll

This whimsical piece of public art is located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the Aurora Bridge (in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, U.S.)

It is clutching a VW Beetle in it's hand, and the sculpture even features in one of my favourite films '10 Things I Hate About You'!

Photo by Melenie Sayyeau.

Hot with the Chance of a Late Storm

This funny melted ice-cream van was an entry by The Glue Society in the 'Sculpture by the Sea' art event in Australia in 2006. It won both the Kids' and Peoples' Choice awards.

Photo by Sardionerak.

Topiary Art

Sculptures can be made with many different materials as is shown by these topiary 'Beatles' in Liverpool (Ringo is unfortunately missing after saying something bad about Liverpool!)
Sculptures can be made with many different materials as is shown by these topiary 'Beatles' in Liverpool (Ringo is unfortunately missing after saying something bad about Liverpool!) | Source

Forever Marilyn

This statue of Marilyn Monroe stands in the pose made famous in 'The Seven Year Itch' movie, where Marilyn stands over a subway grate and a blast of air blows her skirt up. The sculpture stands in Palm Springs, California, after being moved from Chicago.

The figure is 26 feet tall and was created by the artist Seward Johnson.

Photo by DoodleMatt.

Scrap Metal Sculpture

South Dakota artist John Lopez makes awesome sculptures out of old tools, chains, and other found pieces of metal and scrap iron.

Photo by Jurassiraptor.

Damien Hirst Statue

This is the 'Virgin Mother' statue in the Royal Academy, London (2005). A similar 66ft bronze statue by Damien Hirst, named 'Verity', has been installed at the harbour of Ilfracombe in Southern England (2012).
This is the 'Virgin Mother' statue in the Royal Academy, London (2005). A similar 66ft bronze statue by Damien Hirst, named 'Verity', has been installed at the harbour of Ilfracombe in Southern England (2012). | Source

Angel of the North

Very famous and iconic steel sculpture in the north of England (Gateshead). It is designed by Antony Gormley, is 66ft tall and is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world.
Very famous and iconic steel sculpture in the north of England (Gateshead). It is designed by Antony Gormley, is 66ft tall and is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world. | Source

Cloud Gate

This stainless steel construction is by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park (Chicago, Illinois, United States). The sculpture is nicknamed "The Bean".
This stainless steel construction is by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park (Chicago, Illinois, United States). The sculpture is nicknamed "The Bean". | Source

Another Place

'Another Place' consists of life-like cast iron sculptures spread across Crosby Beach in the North-West of England. They are made using casts of the artist's own body (Antony Gormley) and there are 100 in total. Each one weighs 650 kilos and they are all pointing out to sea. When the tide comes in they are submerged, and they have unfortunately raised alarm occasionally as people think they are real people drowning - oops!

Photo by KHRawlings.

Burning Man

The Burning Man festival features many unique art installations and truly magnificent sculptures - such as the 'Koilos' sculpture shown above (by Michael Christian).
The Burning Man festival features many unique art installations and truly magnificent sculptures - such as the 'Koilos' sculpture shown above (by Michael Christian). | Source

Ode to the Commuter

This sculpture is made of bricks and each leg is 20 feet tall. It is located in the middle of Southgate Transit Centre, Alberta (Canada).
This sculpture is made of bricks and each leg is 20 feet tall. It is located in the middle of Southgate Transit Centre, Alberta (Canada). | Source

Walking The Road

'Walking The Road' was an 18-sculpture art installation by Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, where various statues of a little girl and a dragonfly were placed along Sea Point promenade in Cape Town, South Africa.

The series of sculptures told a story of the journey of South Africans to every day Democracy. If you would like to learn more about the sculptures, click here.

The sculptures were removed (as planned) in 2011.

Photo by André-Pierre du Plessis.

Best Books on Sculpting & Related Craft Techniques

If you wish to learn how to create your own sculptures from wire, paper mache, wood or concrete, these excellent craft books will give you all the guidance you need to get started:

Tetris Light Art

These fun light sculptures can be found in Abercrombie Lane, just off George Street in Sydney, Australia.
These fun light sculptures can be found in Abercrombie Lane, just off George Street in Sydney, Australia. | Source

Cow Parade

Source

Packing Tape Horses

Tape sculptor/artist Mark Jenkins added horse sculptures to the lampposts all around Thomas Circle traffic circle in Washington DC to create a merry-go-round design.

Click here for a tutorial on making your own tape sculpture - written by the artist himself.

Photo by James Calder.

Metal Horse

This impressive horse sculpture is found just off the west bound M8 motorway, Glasgow, Scotland.
This impressive horse sculpture is found just off the west bound M8 motorway, Glasgow, Scotland. | Source

Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture

This skeletal Viking Boat sculpture has the best view in the house, being positioned next to mountains and by the sea in the centre of Reykjavík, Iceland.

The sculpture is by Jón Gunnar Árnason.

Photo by McKay Savage.

Sculpture Videos

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    • wizardgold lm profile image

      wizardgold lm 6 years ago

      I want more art in the streets

    • BSieracki profile image

      Bernie 5 years ago from Corbin, KY

      i think they cost is not worth it unless donated.

    • profile image

      Spikey64 5 years ago

      Street art brightens up many lives.

    • profile image

      ironmonkey 5 years ago

      Great Lens!

    • profile image

      jtbmetaldesigns 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing! I love this lense! I love to weld art and cool home stuff.

      Someday I need to do public installations. For now I do home and office décor

    • GaelicForge profile image

      GaelicForge 5 years ago

      Inspiring sculptures- I'd love to do something huge one of these days.

    • JoolsObsidian LM profile image

      JoolsObsidian LM 5 years ago

      This is a great lens! I really enjoyed it! Some excellent photos and information.

    • Loucreate profile image

      Loucreate 5 years ago

      Love the sculptures!

    • profile image

      DMVAgent 4 years ago

      This is the best sculpture ever! very great.

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      Loved the scrap metal sculpture. What a great way to re-purpose junk and keep it out of the land fills. I think I love looking at art because I'm not very good at it myself and am always in awe of people's creativity. Thanks for the lens.

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      These are really cool! I wish I'd seen the tetris ones :)

    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 4 years ago

      Another great visit with another of your stimulating lenses! I'll be back! Thanks for the public art installation tour! Three pieces dear to me are: The FREE stamp in Cleveland, Ruby the pig at Seattle's Pike Place Market, and the Bremen Town Musicians in Bremen, Germany. :o)

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 3 years ago

      What an awesome lens! Love all the pictures and sculptures obviously.

    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 2 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      I believe public art makes a statement of the community. In this day of national and global chains and brands names, it is refreshing to see something truly unique to that particular point in the world.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 23 months ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      A wonderful collection! I love the figures in the beach that submerse with the tide, great energy in that one! I am a public artist myself, glad to see public art displayed here so wonderfully!

      Ben Zoltak

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