This is one of my favourite pieces of art. Not that it’s truly awe-inspiring in the artistic sense – more that it reaches out and slaps you right in the sensibilities, reminding us all of why city-wide approvals of artwork should not be done by doddering old men with no grip on reality, or a Google-search function to find out the meaning of certain words.
Referred to as “Santa with the Christmas Tree” by little old ladies who know no better, and commonly called the “Dwarf with a Buttplug” by the rest of us, this wonderful statue decorates an open expanse in Eendrachtsplein, Rotterdam, sharing a spot with my favourite coffee shop. You can find a Google Streetview of it by clicking here.
It stares at you with a stupid smile (buried somewhere beneath the beard), sitting so serene in the square with the innocence of a garden-gnome, and is anything but Bashful (I’m sorry, I just had to go there) of all the commotion that it causes.
Interesting fact: The organisers of the annual Gay Pride Parade requested to use this wonderful little man as their mascot. The request was denied by the now mortally offended city officials. Because – of course – it would be terribly embarrassing for the city of Rotterdam to allow the friendly gnome to be used in such a manner. As if displaying it in a public square is not bad enough already. I would liken this to wanting to wash the dishes while the house is on fire. In your underwear.
I understand that the city took around seven years to decide where to put it. And by this I am referring to the statue… Please keep your minds out of the gutter, folks.