‘Creepy’ Madison Art Sculpture Draws Attention

Published: Jul. 25, 2019 at 10:16 PM CDT
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A ‘creepy’ art display under the John Nolan Bridge at Wingra Creek is getting a lot of attention on social media.

"It’s creepy, very very creepy," 13-year-old Lizzie Johnson said.

It's the talk of the town.

"I heard some people talking about it and oh my gosh,” Martha White, Madison resident said.

It’s hard not to stop and stare.

Five figures are strung under the John Nolen Bridge and dangling over Wingra Creek.

A Middleton kayaker, Barb Regan, caught a glimpse of the human body castings from the water.

"They kind of look a lot like mummies," Regan said. "I looked up, and I saw something from a distance and thought that's kind of weird and creepy.”

Some people even thought it was a prank, but the man behind it all calls it art.

"I hear from many different sources saying 'wow those are really cool and kind of creepy,’ but I don't mind it at all," Chris Murphy, sculptor said.

He called the hanging sculptures "Swimmers." This piece was the last installation of an art series.

If you look closely, you can see their swirling reflection in the water.

He said he became inspired in his sleep.

“It's got sort of a surreal aspect to it. I go for things that seem dream-like, and dreams aren't always the pleasant things we have," Murphy said.

He said the magic of art puts people out of their comfort zone.

"It brings people out of their normal day-to-day existence, and they'll hopefully be thinking about other stuff,” he said.

He added it takes them to a world of imagination.

“That's the function of art. If you can get people to actually do that, then it's successful,” Murphy said.

If you haven't seen the art display yet, you still have time. The piece will be under the bridge until September. The artist said the best time to see the display is right before sunset because the figures have beating hearts that light up.

Murphy said he received a Blink Grant from the Madison Arts Commission to display the art.