Credit the friendly spirit of creative composition for some of the eye-pooping, jaw-dropping, dare we say mind-boggling aspect displayed by Shepparton’s surrealistic (in some cases) cows. Artists are given a set of general guidelines to follow when painting their allotted cows, though the fact the region’s businesses, gardens and buildings (including the Eastbank Centre, the Shepparton Visitor Information Centre and the town council foyer) have embraced the figurines epitomizes the balance between visionary zeal and societal responsibility. Flickr user Mertie caught the deliciously melon-cowy baby above in October of 2014.
Speaking of surrealism, check out the, ahem, “Moona Lisa” and Daliesque themed cows above!
Perhaps one of the reasons Shepparton’s creative cows are artistically recycled, as it were, is that by doing so the statues don’t become magnets for graffiti and other types of vandalism. We’re not yet at the point where unwanted paint can be quickly, easily and above all inexpensively removed without affecting the original art, so simply scrubbing down to bare fiberglass and starting over again is a reasonable solution – plus, it keeps the officially designated artists busy! The “mer-cow” above is shown in 2009 and 2014, respectively.
Unfortunately, Australia isn’t immune to vandalism and public artworks are often too-easy targets for misplaced anger. Several art cows were damaged – one beyond repair – in mid-August of 2015. It’s estimated the value of each piece is roughly $5,000.
While the creative cows of the Moooving Art project spend all of their time hanging out in (and with the) public, organizers would prefer people interact mainly with their eyes. “Our cow herd is designed to withstand the elements and you’re welcome to pat them,” according to the mildly passive-aggressive blurb at Discover Shepparton‘s Moooving Art web presence, “but please be gentle and don’t climb on them. We wouldn’t want you to be hurt.” The same goes for actual cows though some things don’t need to be spelled out.