So, for a scupture to be featured on this site, did you expect Venus de Milo, Laocoön, or Michelangelo’s David? They certainly are great landmarks of art, and deserve the books written about them, but, remember, for the pages on art, I am writing about personal experiences, and this little ubiquitous statue, found in countless public parks and private properties, has attracted my attention back when I was of a similar age. I didn’t know that it was a celebrated symbol of the faraway city of Brussels, or that the boy’s name was Juliaanske or that he had supposedly saved the city from an invasion in the 14th century by urinating on a fuse. The question that was formed in my mind back then was “why is it okay for a statue to do, but not okay for me”? Later, it made me ask myself, long before ever hearing about Marcel Duchamp or Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin, can excretion be art? Is there anything that cannot be art?
By the way, guess what? This little statue has an official website: www.manneken-pis.com