Residents of Palm Springs, California, are a bit butt-hurt over a proposed AIDS memorial sculpture looks suspiciously like a human anus.
The design, which is meant to honor individuals who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS, is facing backlash for its “inappropriate connotations,” according to KESQ. Palm Springs residents are not fully convinced that this should be the artistic representation of these deadly diseases, according to the outlet.
Mock-ups of how the Downtown Park installation might look show a nine-foot-tall wheel of limestone with striations converging on a hole in the center.
Today in crap contemporary art: an AIDS memorial shaped like an anus. https://t.co/08pWZ5rks4
— Chadwick Moore (@Chadwick_Moore) September 19, 2023
The donut-shaped sculpture by Phillip K. Smith, III was meant to be a symbol of hope, according to the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Structure website. (RELATED: Art Exhibit At NYC Catholic Church Suggests ‘God Is Trans’)
“The sculpture that will become the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial is intended to be a touchstone in the community,” the site reads. “It is an artwork that is meant to be tactile — encouraging touch to facilitate connection and engagement. AIDS is about people and the artwork has been scaled to be at the human scale. The circular, torus shape inspires a connected, round, corner-less form that provides space for the community and the individual across its surface.”
Some community members had a different interpretation. Local resident Clay Sales called it “a piece of art looking for a purpose, instead of the other way around,” while Gene Brake said that the “backside of the proposed memorial looks like a graphic depiction of the backside of a human being.”
With many residents voicing their concerns and the installation’s design trending on social media, the organization has announced that a revised version of the sculpture is on its way, according to LGBTQ Nation.