Ever since the ancient times, people have created and enjoyed art and, while for a long time, most people associated art and a visit to an art exhibition with a museum, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. All around the world, people have started to take art outside the museum walls, incorporating it more and more into surroundings, for the people to see and enjoy or, in some cases, to make a statement and reflect the time they live in. While there are many very interesting sculpture parks, we bring you five of the art parks that made it to the top of our list:
1. Park Güell
One of the most famous art parks is definitely Park Güell in Barcelona. Created by a well known architect and artist Antonio Gaudi, whose buildings are well known landmarks of Barcelona and an integral part of city’s identity, Park Güell is definitely not to miss. Originally intended to be a housing estate, people are really lucky that it was converted to a public park as they can enjoy over three kilometres of streets and steps with a beautiful plaza as the central area, all covered in playful, colourful mosaics. In the play of colours and forms, the park invites you to get lost in it, enjoy its every curve, shape and colour and just enjoy the fairytale it is.
2. Naoshima Island, Japan
Imagine not only an art park but an art island – Japanese island Naoshima is a dream come true for any lover of the contemporary art. The small, previously industrialised island in the Seto Inland Sea was was turned into a truly unique art experience. With industry dying, after the island being almost forgotten, it was reinvented and given a new life through a vision of art-loving businessman Soichiro Fukutake, who considered that art is not only to be enjoyed in museums but also to be brought outside, and completely transformed the island into a paradise for art lovers. A short ferry ride from Japan’s main island Honshu and a day trip from Tokyo, Naoshima is definitely worth the visit – in addition to its traditional fishing villages, it is now a home to amazing architecture by Tadao Ando, wonderful galleries, museums and cafes as well as art installations. In addition to the works of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, James Turrell, David Hockney and Andy Warhol, it proudly boasts one of the most known pieces of the great Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama, a giant yellow pumpkin that is the landmark of the beautiful scenery and this extraordinary island.
3. East Side Gallery, Berlin
With over 100 paintings, the East Side Gallery in Berlin is the world’s largest open-air mural collection but the importance of it is not only its artistic quality – there are not many art spaces in the world that have such a historical significance. After the Berlin wall fell in 1989, most of it was dismantled and removed but a 1.3 kilometre stripe stayed as a reminder of the difficult times of the German division and was transformed by the artists who reinterpreted the wall and gave it a new meaning, painting it with different scenes, mostly in reference to the political shifts and events happening at the end of the Cold War.
4. Park of the Monsters, Italy
A really extraordinary park can be found in Italy – in the little town of Bomarzo, north of Rome, a park full of fantastic beasts and creatures awaits you. Popularly called the Park of the Monsters, it was created as an expression of grief of Prince Pier Francesco Orsini. In the 1550s, after the death of his beloved wife, he commissioned the surrealist sculptures that not only amaze people but were also inspiration to artists such as the great Salvador Dali who visited the park and was fascinated by it, drawing inspiration from it and even referencing the creatures in his later work. Surrounded by overgrown gardens and covered in moss, the sculptures are truly immersed in nature and a wonder to anyone who visits it.
5. Gibbs farm, Makarau, New Zealand
Around one hour north of Auckland, on approximately 1,200 acres, Gibbs Farm is a home to giant art pieces of many renowned artists. The New Zealand’s centre of art draws tourists and art lovers to this unique setting in a dramatic landscape – pieces from artists such as Richard Serra, Peter Roche and Maya Lin are situated in the magnificent area of Kaopara Harbor, the largest estuary in the Southern Hemisphere. This one of a kind art space provides a sort of an augmented reality, and is also a home to Anish Kapoor’s “Dismemberment, Site 1”, an 85-meter-long red trumpet perfectly arranged among the hills, definitely making the landscape Lilliputian and making the visitors reevaluate their own reality.