(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

If you’ve been wondering about the weirdest site I’ve visited …

You know it’s my job to seek out weirdness, right? I usually have plenty of oddities to choose from, some stranger than others. One of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen is a brightly colored, politically themed, 40-foot-tall mechanical pull toy sculpture, complete with yellow rope “tail.”

Sweetums and I came across this bizarre sculpture online while looking up sites to visit on our trip to Cleveland, Ohio, last month. Of course, it went on our list. It may just be the weirdest site we’ve visited.

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The Billie Lawless sculpture on the lawn of Cleveland (Ohio) State University called “The Politician: A Toy.” (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)

The artwork, called “The Politician: A Toy,” was created in the 1990s by Boston-born artist Billie Lawless. It is located on the lawn outside the Nance School of Business at Cleveland State University, at Chester Avenue and 18th Street.

It didn’t disappoint. It was even weirder in person. The metal fence surrounding the sculpture features twisted political catch-phrases, such as “Read My Hips” and “A Thousand Points of Slight.”

According to BillieLawless.com, it is “composed of 20 tons of steel, two tons of rope (the tail), fiber glass (the bowties), a ton of cedar (the handle), assorted bearings (for the wheels and mouth mechanism), television sets (the eyes), industrial epoxy paints and the various electrical components which power the piece.”

It was initially erected on private property and was moved to Cleveland State University in 2014.

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The Billie Lawless sculpture on the lawn of Cleveland (Ohio) State University is 40 feet high and 40 feet wide. It’s called “The Politician: A Toy.” (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)
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The Billie Lawless sculpture on the lawn of Cleveland (Ohio) State University called “The Politician: A Toy.” (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)
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The Billie Lawless sculpture on the lawn of Cleveland (Ohio) State University called “The Politician: A Toy.” (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)
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The Billie Lawless sculpture on the lawn of Cleveland (Ohio) State University called “The Politician: A Toy.” (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)

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