The "Palm Springs Babies" art exhibit, consisting of ten 300-pound sculptures, is being removed from its central location in the pit next to the downtown park in Palm Springs after nearly five years.
The Palm Springs Babies exhibit will be heading to a museum show in Tijuana, Mexico, by the end of May. It was intended as a limited-time engagement, but ended up staying much longer due to construction delays in the Grit Development downtown project.
The exhibit, created by Czech artist David Černý, has stirred controversy since its unveiling in June 2018. Christian Hohmann, the President and CEO of Hohmann Inc., the gallery representing Černý, said that the exhibit was always meant to be provocative.
"The reaction was very split, it was either love it or hate it. And in a way, that is exactly what the artist wanted," Hohmann said.The sculptures, which were designed to look like babies with barcode faces, have become a tourist destination over the years but also faced criticism from some who found them disturbing.
"The face is gone. And that is what rattles people the most. So this is supposed to be the stamp of a barcode," Hohmann said.
The sculptures will have to be repainted and refurbished due to the harsh conditions they have endured from the sun and sand.
While it is uncertain if the exhibit will ever return to Palm Springs, Hohmann revealed that there are other possible art exhibits in the making for the site, which is owned by Michael Braun of Grit Development.