Art is a subjective affair. What one person loves another will hate. However, some pieces of art have been hyped beyond belief, leading many of us to feel we must see them in person at some point in our lives or we'll miss out on a truly deep experience. While all these pieces are no doubt important, we don't believe you necessarily need to join the hordes of people trekking to see them. Here are six pieces of art totally worth skipping.
Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans
Hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Warhol’s work depicts 32 cans of soup. Famous for his comic strip works, Warhol took a friend’s suggestion to find a subject that people could relate to. Well, if you used to have soup for lunch as often as Warhol did, you may well relate to the work. While the piece was no doubt controversial and groundbreaking in its creation method, in person, you're looking up at a bunch of big soup cans that look a whole lot like the soup cans in your kitchen right now.
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa
This is one of the most famous paintings of all time, and nearly every visitor to Paris feels compelled to stand in line at the Louvre to see it. In fact, that is where the problem begins; if you’ve seen it, you’ll know where this is going. The painting is small and dark, placed on a large wall with an even larger protective barrier around it. Even if you are the first there, you will struggle to get a good look. Best to ignore the crowd, turn around and gaze at the impressive piece right across the room, Paolo Veronese's The Wedding at Cana.
Gutzon Borglum’s Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Not just a piece of art, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a landmark depicting four former presidents. The work is a considerable feat, what with it being carved into the side of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The project itself, however, was undertaken with the purpose of boosting tourism, which makes it lose a little of its luster. In spite of the large scale of the piece, staring up from the viewing platform can make the presidents' heads look smaller than you'd imagine and fairly underwhelming. It’s a long trip out to the middle of nowhere to look at a rock that’s not as big as your expectations.
Edvard Eriksen’s The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid, who perches on a rock by the waterside in Copenhagen, is a statue created as a tribute to the famous fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Another huge tourist attraction, The Little Mermaid pulls in the crowds but unfortunately leaves them somewhat baffled. In fact, the statue has received the acclaim of the world’s worst tourist attraction. Not only is it remarkably small, it is constantly surrounded by crowds of people along the harbor. If you really need to see it, do it by boat, but after a couple of seconds, you’ll be done.
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
If size impresses you, then you might disagree with this one. Picasso’s Guernica is almost 12 feet by 26 feet. Admittedly, the painting is beautifully displayed in the Museo Reina Sofia, with photos on the opposite wall depicting the artist's life. The heart of the piece is in the right place too, a political statement depicting the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It’s just that compared to his other works, the painting is massively overhyped. Despite its scale and meaning, the painting seems to pale in comparison to the other Cubist and Surrealist pieces Picasso churned out.
Jerôme Duquesnoy’s Manneken Pis
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a statue of a baby boy urinating into a pool of water isn’t the pinnacle of art it’s made out to be. The artist was, in fact, an accomplished architect and sculptor who played a significant role in the introduction of the Baroque style in Europe. Manneken Pis, however, although amusing, has been labelled as Europe’s most disappointing sight. The statue is tiny, the streets are always packed with tourists and the whole structure is protected by railings so you can’t even get that close.