Asa & Yehoshafat Asa & Yehoshafat Boaz Vaadia's "Asa & Yehoshafat" overlook the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Richard Margolis /Israel Public Art)

7 clever installations that will make you rethink public art

This art deserves a double take.

Whether the artist uses an innovative material, works with an unusual canvas or plays with optical illusions, public art doesn't just look interesting — it warrants deeper thought. Here are some installations from around the world that do just that.

No Sign art installationStainless steel rods create negative space in this installation called "Non-Sign II" in Vancouver. (Photo: architecturegeek/Flickr)

From Seattle-based art collective Lead Pencil Studio, "Non-Sign II" does the opposite of a billboard: it makes drivers aware of their surroundings.


Lego wall patchesLegos patch a wall in Berlin. (Photo: oxox/Flickr)

Lego patches have popped up all over the world, adding whimsy to dilapidated and damaged walls. Wired credits German artist Jan Vormann for starting the trend in 2007 at an art festival in Italy. In the years since, copycats have taken up the cause — and that's just what Vormann was hoping would happen.


Asa and YehoshafatAsa and Yehoshafat by artist Boaz Vaadia. (Photo: Richard Margolis/Israel Public Art)

Boaz Vaadia collects discarded stone materials from construction sites and turns them into durable art that is featured all over the world. In Tel Aviv, the bluestone "Asha and Yehoshafat" sculptures gaze across the Mediterranean Sea, as they sit on top of a boulder — appearing as if they had been there all along.


Rising Cairn sculptureCeleste Roberge's "Rising Cairn" sculpture in front of the Nevada Art Museum in Reno. (Photo: Greg Patterson/Flickr)

Merging geological form with human form, Celeste Roberge's "Rising Cairn" sculpture uses rocks local to the site of the artwork and invites viewers to investigate from all angles — including above, as children enjoy climbing on it.

"The work is about the intersection of geology and humanity," Florida-based Roberge told Gainesville Today. "I sometimes call it geological time and human time."


Monster Slide Slides come from the mouth of the "Monster Slide" in Jerusalem. (Photo: herberger/Flickr)

Niki de Saint Phalle's "Monster Slide" lurks in a playground in Jerusalem — but though it may seem unnerving at first, this is undoubtedly the most fun piece of art on the list. Children adventure through the inside of the monster to slide down one of its three tongues. 


Jean shop muralRami Meiri's mural on a jeans shop in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Richard Margolis /Israel Public Art)

Rami Meiri's art plays with its surroundings in crafty ways. This 1985 mural in Tel Aviv is on the side of a jeans shop, ingeniously merging local culture with business.


French artist OakOak makes use of urban decay with his delightfully unexpected paintings. His brilliant cartoon of Bruce Lee kicking can be found in several places — above, Lee attacks an already-bent rail in Saint Etienne, France.

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