Czech artist David Cerny’s “Babies” will be officially revealed during a 7 p.m. Tuesday unveiling event at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel, near where the babies will be permanently housed in a yet-to-be-developed residential building. The installation site, part of the city’s major downtown development project, is expected to be developed sometime by 2020 at the earliest. Until then, the sculptures will remain in an empty lot near the hotel and in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum.
A single baby sculpture was originally featured at the Chicago Museum of Fine Art in 1994, while the full “Babies” ensemble was last seen crawling atop the Zizkov TV Tower in Cerny’s hometown of Prague. The fiberglass and steel babies — stark black and naked with faces that are featureless save for a bar code sunken into their visages — represent “the dehumanization of society,” according to a statement from Palm Desert’s Hohmann Fine Art Gallery, which helped bring “Babies” to the Coachella Valley.
Christian Hohmann, the owner of Hohmann Fine Art Gallery, admitted that the sculptures are bound to be polarizing.
“People will either love them or hate them,” Hohmann said. “Cerny is known to stir controversy and his installations are never mediocre. In any case, this will add an international touch to the downtown development and draw interest in the otherwise empty space.”