Realistic-looking statues of five men in gray hoodies and covered faces stood outside Laguna Beach City Hall Wednesday.
One vacuumed the lawn as another played a game of horseshoes. A third raised up a hot dog on a long rod, while another pulled back a toilet plunger on a bow, aiming it at an apple on top of another’s head.
The $25,000 art installation called “The Caretakers,” created by artist Mark Jenkins and approved by the Laguna Beach’s city council and arts commission, is meant to “relate to lawn games and activities in the age of global warming,” city officials said on Facebook.
The city said the concrete and resin men are covering their faces to shield from the sun. The display also includes a reference to William Tell, a rebellious Swiss folk legend who shot an apple on top of his son’s head.
The temporary installation drew mixed responses from social media users, who have called the statues “depressing” and “disturbing,” while others said they thought it was “refreshing” to see the “edgy, provocative art.”
One drew comparisons to Slender Man, a faceless fictional character.
Outside city hall, one resident passing by the installation said she first thought the statues were “creepy” and was perplexed by what they represent, but after learning more about the art, she thought it made more sense.
The sculptures, which were installed Aug. 23, will be on display for up to three months.
So if u r wondering what these 5 guys are doing outside Laguna Beach City Hall, u r not alone. It’s an art exhibit by street artist Mark Jenkins paid for with $25,000 in bed (hotel)taxes, per city official. @KTLA Oh, and they’re not real people, they’re sculptures pic.twitter.com/ttAvjihMkS
— Chip Yost (@ChipYost) August 29, 2019