Public Art: Male/Female sculpture
Sculptor: © Jonathon Borofsky
Description: The Male/Female sculpture is a 14 ton,
51foot aluminium sculpture that features intersecting silhouettes of a male and female body, complete
with a shared blinking red and blue neon heart.
Date Unveiled: June the 4th, 2004
Funded by : The Municipal Arts Society of
Baltimore and the Pennsylvania Station Revitalization Fund
Artist's Statements: "This is what I do as a
sculptor. I take human issues, human thoughts, and create physical forms."
"It is exactly this balance of male and female energy that is missing from the oppressive
Taliban psyche. ... The sorrowful events that have just taken place in New York City are only one example of a
male-aggressive people who lack the important male / female balance within themselves."
Location: You can't miss the Male Female
sculpture outside the pennsylvania Station at the corner of North Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue ,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Controversy: You couldn't possibly plonk an enormous
aluminum sculpture in front of the Beaux-Arts Pennsyvania Station without causing
some hellfire among art critics and city citizens alike. It's not like you can turn a blind eye! I must admit
when I first saw it, the first thing I thought of was "what the ?" and this, despite having already seen it during
There has also been some sensitivity towards the sculptor's "bleeding heart." believing it reminds
visitors of the city's high murder rate: "Come to Baltimore and get shot!"
Various names used to describe Male/Female sculpture:
“Colossal piece of crap.”, "The Transvestitute.”, "Charm City Atrocity", "Gort"
What Critics Have to Say: "People's hate for Penn
Station's behemoth Male/Female sculpture has burned for years." Unknown reporter
"Patrons of art here paid $750,000 for a 51-foot sculpture...that looks like Gort from The Day
the Earth Stood Still. I look at it and want to say: 'Klaatu barada nikto!' Columnist Dan Rodricks, Baltimore
Sun, August 26, 2007
"the sculpture as I look at it is both intriguing and compelling but also a little kitschy, and
I like that. It's a nice place to be – high art and low art at the same time." Cartoonist Bill Griffith,
August 26, 2004.
"you can't not react to it."
“For me, it works on many artistic levels but, ultimately, the piece's distinctly alien
presence amid the history and depth surrounding it adds another layer to the Baltimore that I love the best: the
Baltimore that doesn't quite ‘fit in," Gerald Ross, who named Borofsky’s statue as one of the Baltimore’s
“must see” works of art in an issue of Baltimore magazine.
The Invasion of the 50-Foot She-Male. Edward Gunts,Sun Architecture Critic, 2001
It’s not the statue which irks so many people—it is where it is located. Unkown
Things you May Not Know About Male/Female sculpture:
Borofsky has variations of his “Male/Female” sculpture in Offenberg and Bielefeld, Germany, and Kagoshima,
Male/Female is believed to be the largest investment in public art in the Baltimore's history.
It was voted Best Eyesore by City Paper Readers for Best of Baltimore, 2011.