Statues and sculptures were created by many talented artists for thousands of years. In the past, statues and sculptures were made to represent the most powerful figure of the century, worship religious figures, or pay homage to military figures. But now it became closer to the public as the genre ‘public art’ evolved through time.
It’s all over the city and you can just walk around your neighborhood and find a sculpture or statue. There are a variety of styles and some seem to catch more attention than others. Here are 45 mind-blowing sculptures and statues from around the world.
1) Knife Angel
This 26-foot sculpture was built in the UK from 100,000 donated knives. Alfie Bradley spent two years making the sculpture. Each knife, which was involved in a violent crime in England and Wales, had to be blunted so they couldn’t cause more damage.
2) The Mustangs of Las Colinas
This amazing series of sculptures was created by Robert Glen and resides in Las Colinas, Texas. The movement in this piece is just incredible. The horses look like they are actually in motion.
3) Spring Temple Buddha
Here we have the Spring Temple Buddha in China which was built in 2002. The statue was a total of 420 feet tall when it was complete. Three pedestals were added a few years later to bring the total structure to 682 feet tall.
This is a bronze casted sculpture that is pieced together an illuminated from within. It was created in New York City by Paige Bradley. The artist destroyed her first version of the sculpture.
5) The Laykyun Setkyar
The Laykyun Setkyar is a 381 ft. standing Buddha statue. It’s located in Khatakan Taung, Myanmar. It was built by Chief Abbot Ven. Nãradã and stands on a 44 ft. throne.
6) The Monument of An Anonymous Passerby
This eerie group of statues is located in Wroclaw, Poland. The sculpture shows 14 people sinking into the sidewalk and reemerging on the other side. It is interpreted as a memorial to citizens killed during a period of martial law in Communist Poland in the 1980s.
Transcendence is a giant salmon sculpture on the corner of Southwest Salmon Street and Southwest Park Avenue in Portland, Oregon. It was created by Oregonian Keith Jellum. It shows an 11 ft. salmon flying through the brickwork of the building above Southpark Seafood.
8) First Generation
First Generation is one of four sculptures that are a part of the People of the River series located at the Singapore River by Chong Fah Cheong. It shows five boys jumping into the Singapore River. The sculpture is a playful and exuberant and reminds one to remember the simple things in life.
9) Shoes on the Danube Bank
The Shoes on the Daube Bank is a memorial in Budapest, Hungry to memorialize Jews who were shot and thrown into the river by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen during World War II. It was conceived by film director Can Togay and was created on the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer. Those who were killed were ordered to take their shoes off before they were shot at the edge of the water causing their bodies to fall into the river and be carried away.
10) The Knotted Gun a.k.a. Non-Violence
The Knotted Gun was created as a memorial to John Lennon who was shot and killed outside his New York City home in 1980. It was created by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd who was a personal friend to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. There are currently 31 copies of the sculpture placed around the world. The Knotted Gun is a symbol of The Non-Violence Project.
11) Freedom Sculpture
The Freedom Sculpture represents struggling to break free of your mold and achieve freedom through the creative process. It is made of bronze and was created by Zenos Frudakis. It’s located at 16th and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
12) The Release from Deception
Il Disinganno, also known as The Release from Deception, was created in the 18th century by Francesco Queirolo. It features an angel helping a fisherman to untangle himself from a net of deception. The statue has been admired for the beautiful and delicate craftsmanship of the net. It was completed in 1754 and is located in the Sansevero Chapel in Naples Italy.
13) The Black Ghost
This creepy piece looks like it is slithering out of the sea. The Juodasis Vaiduoklis, or The Black Ghost, is located in Lithuanian and is 7.8 feet high. It was created by Svajunas Jurkus and Sergejus Plotnikovas and shows an eerie figure with skeletal hands holding a lantern and climbing out onto the dock.
14) Les Voyageurs
Les Voyageurs, or The Travellers, is a series of gravity-defying sculptures in Marseille France. They were built between 2013-2014 by Bruno Catalano. Their suitcases are weighing them down and are also their only means of support.
15) Nelson Mandela
This bust of Nelson Mandela was created by Marco Cianfanelli. The profile spans 50 steel columns and is 21.32 and 29.52 feet. They are shaped in such a way that it looks like Nelson Mandela from a certain angle but different from another angle.
This piece is located in Brussels, Belgium. The policeman being caught by a “rogue of the canal” was created by Tom Frantzen. It is meant to represent “the youth making the authority falter.”
17) Cattle Drive
Cattle Drive is an exquisitely realistic herd of cattle in Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas. It represents the longhorn cattle drives along the Shawnee Trail in the nineteenth century. It was created by Robert Summers and includes 49 bronze steers that are six feet high along with three cowboys on horses.
This massive spider is called Maman. It was sculpted by Louise Bourgeois. There are 32 marble eggs in its abdomen with the rest of it made of bronze.
19) Hippo Sculptures
This sculpture makes this walkway look like a body of water where hippo like to swim. The sculptures are located at the African Animal Area in the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan. The project was conceptualized by former zoo director Chen Pao-Chung.
20) The Architectural Fragment
The Architectural Fragment is a sculpture by Petrus Spronk located at the State Library of Victoria on Swanston Street. It looks like a library sinking into the sidewalk. It was built in January 1993.
Čumil, a.k.a. The Watcher, is located in the Old Town of Bratislava, Slovakia. The sculpture depicts a man at work peeking out of a manhole. Some say that if you make a wish that you keep secret while touching the man’s head, it will come true.
22) Iguana Park
No this park doesn’t have an infestation, these are sculptures. This is Klein-Gartmanplantsoen square in Amsterdam. It contains 40 bronze statutes of lizards and iguanas by artist Hans van Houwelingen.
23) Mihai Eminescu Bust
This incredible sculpture looks like trees but it’s also a bust. This is a bust of famous Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu. The is located in Onesti, Romania.
24) Man Hanging Out
Man Hanging Out is a statue of a dangling Sigmund Freud. It’s located in Old Town Prague and shows Freud deciding whether to hang on or let go. This alarming statue was created by artist David Cerny.
25) The Kelpies
The Kelpies are enormous sculptures of two shape-shifting water spirits that are taking the form of horse heads. They are each 30 meters high. They are located in Grangemouth, Scotland.
26) A Day Out
A Day Out is a really cute set of four life-size bronze pig statutes. They look like they are having fun and enjoying their day out in the Rundle Mall in Australia. The piece was named by the public.
27) The Unknown Official
The Unknown Official pays homage to the nameless city officials. It was sculpted by Magnús Tómasson in 1994. It’s located in Reykjavik, Iceland.
28) The Headington Shark
The Headington Shark is another fun sculpture. It’s embedded into a rooftop on High Street in Headington, Oxford in England. The shark has been there since 1986 and is about 25 feet long.
29) Emperors Yan and Huang
This monument of Chinese emperors Yan Di and Huang Di is carved from a mountain on the Yellow River in Yan Huang Plaza in Zhengzhou, Henan. It is about 348 feet high and took about 20 years to build. It cost $22.5 million to build.
30) Rock Sculpture of Decebalus
This sculpture is of Decebalus, the last king of Dacia who fought against the Roman Empire to preserve independence of what is now Romania. It’s carved into the rock face and is the tallest rock relief in Europe. It’s about 141 feet high and 104 feet side.
31) Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue
This mega statue is part of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It shows Genhis Khan riding horseback on the bank of the Tuul River. It’s 131-feet high and is symbolically pointed east towards Khan’s birthplace.
32) Ushiku Daibutsu
The Ushiku Daibutsu statue is 390 feet high and is located in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The bronze statue depicts the Amitabha Buddha. It’s also known as Ushiku ARCADIA which stands for Amida’s Radiance and Compassion Actually Developing and Illuminating Area.
33) Guishan Guanyin of the Thousand Hands and Eyes
According to Wikipedia the Guishan Guanyin of the Thousand Hands and Eyes is the fourth tallest statue in China and the sixth tallest statue in the world. It is guilded bronze and features Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva that embodies the compassion of all Buddahs. It is 325 feet high and is located in Weisha, Changsha, Hunan in the People’s Republic of China.
34) The Motherland Calls
The Motherland Calls is the center of the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad monument on Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, Russia. It was designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich and Nikolai Nikitin. She is 279 feet tall.
35) Christ the Redeemer
This statue of Jesus Christ was build by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot, with Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida working on the face. It was built between 1922 and 1931. It stands 98 feet high with a 26 foot pedestal a top the peak of Corcovado mount in the Tijuca Forest national Park overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
36) African Renaissance Monument
This bronze statue can be found on top of one of the twin hills of Collines des Mamelles outside Dakar, Senegal. it is 49 meters tall and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb. It was designed by Pierre Goudiaby.
37) Dandelion Fairy Sculpture
UK based sculptor Robin Wright crafts whimsical sculptures that look like they are in motion with steel wire. He’s famous for his fairy statues which appear to be almost carried away by a dandelion blowing in the wind. Lots of his fairies are on display at Trentham Gardens.
38) Appennine Colossus
The Appennine Colossus can be found within the gardens of the Villa Medici at Pratolino near Florence, Italy. It measures about 35-feet-tall and his beard is made of stalactites. The sculpture is also a building and has a fireplace that causes smoke to come out of his nose when lit.
39) The Force of Nature
The Force of Nature is a series of gravity-defying sculptures by Lorenzo Quin. It depicts what is believed to be Mother Nature whipping the world around with a piece of cloth. Different versions of the statue have been featured all over the world.
40) The Caring Hand
The Caring hand sculpture is located in Glarus, Switzerland. The hand is nestled around a tree in a local park. It is a piece by Eva Oertli and Beat Huber.
Feltpve means “ripped up” or “popped up.” It’s a massive statue by Hungarian artist Evin Lornth Herv. It was temporarily installed in Budapest’s Szchenyi Square.
Vicissitudes is an underwater sculpture by Jason de Caires Taylor. It shows life-size figures holding hands in a circle. It’s a part of the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in the Caribbean Sea off the west coast of Grenda, West Indies.
You’re always going to find mindblowing works of art at the Burning Man Festival. Alexander Milov’s Love is one of the most memorable. It shows two adults with their backs turned to each other while their inner children who are illuminated and unified.
Rain is a 6-foot-tall sculpture made of bronze and glass. It depicts a big raindrop over the figures face and was created by Ukranian artist Nazar Bilyk. Bilyk says the sculpture is meant to show man’s inner dialogue with himself
45) The Rising Tide
The Rising Tide is a series of working horses with riders on their backs on the banks of the River Thames in Central London. It is loosely based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The horses heads are replaced with oil well pumps to show an attitude of denial or ambivalence toward climate change. The young riders represent hope in changing the future.