PALM SPRINGS – A group of 10 nameless, hauntingly faceless, bare-butt bronze babies have taken up residence in downtown Palm Springs.
Some onlookers dote on the climbing, sometimes crawling babies; others shake their heads in disgust.
Some are wondering just who in the heck paid for this “creepy” exhibit.
“Not one penny of taxpayers’ money went toward this exhibit,” Loretta Mendoza-Mosher of Hohmann Fine Art Inc. told Uken Report. The area that the “Babies” are currently in is scheduled for residential development in 2020-2021. In the meantime, the empty lots will have a little more to look at than just dirt. The artist David Černý is fond of Palm Springs and agreed to loan the entire collection of these 10 “Babies” to Michael Braun of Grit Palm Springs for these next two years. This was arranged through our Gallery, Hohmann Fine Art by Christian Hohmann. Michael Braun agreed to pay for the transport from Prague to California.
City Manager David H. Ready also confirmed that the “Babies” are a private venture among Grit Development, the artist and the gallery.
“People will either love them or hate them,” said says Christian Hohmann who represents the artist and organized the project. Černý is known to stir controversy and his installations are never mediocre. In any case this will add an international touch to the downtown development and draw interest to the otherwise empty space,” says Christian Hohmann who represents the artist and organized the project.”
Whether you’re a lover or hater of the “Babies,” they bring a world-class caliber of art to downtown Palm Springs. The internationally renowned Czech artist and enfant terrible Černý agreed to lend one of his most famous installations to developer Braun.
After meeting Černý, who was in California to finalize the contract for another landmark sculpture in Santa Monica, the idea started forming to do something spectacular. Černý, who loves Palm Springs, subsequently agreed to lend one of his largest scale installations to date, “The Babies.” Braun was intrigued by Černý’s work and paid for the logistics of this ambitious project. The “Babies” are one of Černý’s best known installations. First presented in 1994 at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art, followed by appearances in various other cities including London, they have been exhibited all over the world. There are two permanent installations in Černý’s home town Prague. Crawling up one of the city’s most prominent landmarks, the Žižkov TV Tower, Černý’s “Tower Babies” are without a doubt his most visible work. It came about in 2000 – the year Prague was the Cultural Capital of Europe. Černý was asked to create a temporary project to honor the occasion, but due to the public’s appreciation of the babies, it was decided that they would remain. For a close encounter, three bronze babies are crawling in a corner next to Museum Kampa, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Prague.
The inspiration for the installation is deeply rooted in Černý’s concern for the dehumanization of society, a topic that is just as valid now as it was 30 years ago when he first conceived the idea of using the most precious thing to humankind, a baby, and replacing the face with a stamp of a bar code. Fascinating and disturbing at the same time, they have touched audiences around the globe.
The ten alien-like fiberglass/steel sculptures traveled for several weeks by ship in two 40′ containers to Los Angeles and then by truck to Palm Springs, where they were moved into their final location by crane.