Big blue baby sculpture raises eyebrows around Hamilton

Some say artwork is racist

HAMILTON, Ohio -- This baby is 9 feet tall, has a full set of teeth, and it's blue.

The fiberglass and resin sculpture, named "Hatched Baby," will be outside the Fitton Center for Creative Arts for a year, on loan from German artist Wolfgang Auer. Auer made a series of "Blue Baby" sculptures starting in 2007, when his daughter was born. The series explores modern parents' anxieties.

Close-up of "Hatched Baby." Photo by Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

That's what the artist says, anyway; some people think it just looks weird. Like maybe the alien love child of Blue Man Group.

Whatever you think of it, "Hatched Baby" ended up at the Fitton Center almost by happenstance.

"Wolfgang was over here with another sculpture, and he said he had the Blue Baby -- quite literally -- on the back of a truck," Fitton Center executive director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Fitton Center installed the sculpture three weeks ago. Since then, MacKenzie-Thurley said, there have been countless calls. Most people wonder what it is -- and what it means.

"Some people love it, some people hate it -- but they're talking about it. They're coming down here, they're getting engaged with it, they're looking at it, they're having photos with it, selfies with it," MacKenzie-Thurley said. "They're getting online and talking about it, and talking about art, and what does art mean to the community."

Fitton Center hours

> Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
> Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
> Saturday: 9 a.m. to noon

MacKenzie-Thurley and other staff at the Fitton Center have gotten calls from people who think the sculpture is racist; MacKenzie-Thurley simply says "It's blue."

Watch the video above to see the reaction from people on the street in Hamilton.

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