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Photo: Ruben P Bescos.
This glowing red orb appeared in the centre of Madrid earlier this year.
SpY was one of many artists who tackled the climate crisis in 2021, and in this caged installation, it’s fair to say he made his point loud and clear.
Photo: Reko Rennie / Zan Wimberley.
This text-based installation by Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie commemorates the impact of the first landing of the British at Botany Bay.
Now a pretty big industry name, Rennie was once a graffiti artist, so there’s something very full-circle about this bright, confident public artwork.
Photo: Lubri, courtesy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude drew up the plans for their fabric-covered monument in the 1960s, but it wasn’t actually realised (posthumously) until this year.
As you can imagine, it caused quite a stir in the tradition-loving French capital.
Photo: Studio Proba / Kris Tamburello.
This year, the neighbourhood around the Design Miami art fair was transformed into a ‘digital playground’ of squidgy, pastel-hued, AI-designed ornaments.
And yes, they could actually be played on. Very cool.
Photo: Jakob Jakobsen.
We all had pretty good reason to be angsty in 2021. So here’s a huge, screaming bit of introspection painted in giant yellow letters in a concrete rotunda.
It’s honest and tragic and we love it.
New York, USA
Photo: Andy Romer.
This eerie pop-up forest – made up of 45-foot Atlantic white cedars – appeared in NYC’s Madison Square Park earlier this year.
For a brief period, the woodland became a sombre, peaceful place for meditation, right in the middle of the city.
Photo: Stefan Lux.
More trees, this time in an even more blackened state. These spindly dead trunks are the remains of an Austrian forest fire, hauled by horses to Vienna to create a woodland graveyard.
After the exhibition, aptly, the remains were turned into compost.
These curvy, tactile lumps appeared in a plaza at Northeastern University in Boston, inviting people to clamber over them on their way from one neighbourhood to another.
We reckon it’s probably the most fun you can have on your way to class.
Photo: Teatro Pubblico Pugliese.
The 3.5-metre-tall puppet was carried 8,000km from the Turkey-Syria border all the way to Manchester earlier this year.
While in London, she held her tenth birthday party at the V&A museum, met dance troupes in Trafalgar Square and even hosted a concert.
Photo: gnes Denes / Leslie Tonkonow.
Agnes Denes has been making art about the environment for decades (remember the two-acre wheatfield she planted by the New York’s Twin Towers in 1984?).
To coincide with COP26 this year, she raised a flag from a tiny boat in Venice that read: ‘The future is fragile, handle with care’.
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa.
Sure, it might not be to everyone’s taste, but this gold Mickey certainly brightened up the street outside Tokyo shopping centre Parco.
Just take a look on Instagram: a whole load of people went wild for it.
Photo: Courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery.
Atong Atem has done all sorts of great stuff over the years: photography, collages, mixed-media works.
Her latest installation is a marriage of 1970s interior aesthetics and neon tulips on the side of Melbourne’s STH BNK building.
Reinvigorating a boring old skyscraper with art? Yes please.
Interim Travel Writer on Time Out's international team.
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