As the ‘Man of Steel’ sculpture goes on tour, I am shocked by the silence from key organisations most notably the Yorkshire Sculpture Park regarding the appropriateness of this work.
Steve Mehdi is an accomplished sculptor, who by his own admission works mainly on private commissions. Does he have a track record of working in the public realm?
The ‘Man of Steel’ sculpture was not created specifically as an iconic gateway sculpture for the area. It is one of his existing works of art that has been up-scaled.
It claims to represent and pay homage to the industries on which our city was built and the men and women who toiled in them. I propose that is a sexist sculpture created by a man, supported by a male-dominated business community, which is not fitting for the area.
Artists who work in the public domain tend avoid gender-specific art work because sculptures of men do not represent the whole community – these works alienate rather than bring together. If you disagree then let’s change the gender to a woman. If the reaction to this proposal is ‘no way’ then by definition it is a sexist sculpture.
When I look at the ‘Man of Steel’ I feel no connection with it at all.
In my view, Steve Mehdi should start again, rather than imposing this current superhero design on us.
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