Tristin Hopper had a great article recently in the National Post on why public art is so consistently awful.
It boils down to basically two things:
(a) The ‘art’ has to stand up to outdoor conditions, which greatly affects the kinds of materials that can be used, and
(b) Cities have budgets for art, which naturally bureaucrats ‘have’ to spend so they’ll keep the cashflow coming next budget, and of course said bureaucrats are unelected and unaccountable to the public, and so spend money as they please on whatever they please, as long as the money gets spent that’s all that ultimately matters to them.
IMO, the solution is simple; governments should get out of bankrolling public art, and instead should only erect monuments and statues to great individuals, war dead, etc., and leave the arts to the private sector, who at least won’t be wasting taxpayers’ money on crap; just their own…
Some might suggest getting public input, but frankly, given the divisions in today’s society, esp. in light of prog / SJW activists decrying anything not created by, say, transgendered black Muslim wheelchair-bound lesbians, all that will do is result in prog hijacking of such hearings, and more social conflict. No, we can’t have nice things any more, because progs. So leave it to the marketplace, instead; again, at least taxpayer dollars won’t be bankrolling agitprop and waste.