Kitsch Invasion

After two weeks full immersion in contemporary art -- MAXXI, Road to Contemporary Art Fair, three great openings of Christopher Wool, Anselm Kiefer and Shahzia Sikhander and a great public art installation (Lusso Essenziale)-- it is about time that Rome is invaded with kitsch.

The Cow Parade, which has followed me all over the world since 1998, has finally made its way to Rome. From now through July 4, decorative, life-size cows are grazing the Eternal City from Piazzale Flaminio to Termini train station. Though I love milk and drink it every day, I am not sure I see the artistic value of life-size bovine sculptures painted like Spiderman, Leopard or even a piano keyboard. However, what I do understand is that kitsch, overly decorated cows make for great photos. Who wouldn't want to smile next to a cow popping out of a coffee cup? (Piazza del Popolo)

Sometimes bad taste can create amazing art. Think: Jeff Koons' Michael Jackson & Bubbles. I love anything Koons creates- the more he can make me laugh about art and society, the happier I am. Thus, I have a soft-spot f or the Mucca Capitolina, the foundation of Rome from a cow's point of view (Romulus & Remus-esque babies happily enjoying milk under a solid heifer), and appropriately placed in front of Fendi, Largo Goldoni. [Note: the sculpture has since been moved.]

To those of you who love public art as much as I do, look out for the tee pees that have popped up all over the city for TU: Tribu dei Lettori, perhaps one of the coolest new events to invade Rome. Through Sunday June 6, Rome celebrates children and adult book lovers with reader events (readings, music, picnics) all over the city-- and in tee pees. The tee pees, which cross the line between clever and kitsch, are beautiful and another fleeting exchange of public art in Rome.