New Yorkers react to strikingly indifferent statue of Elon Musk with cheerful hostility

Well-travelled billionaire's likeness very likely to follow recent examples of other questionable public art


The city of New York received an addition to its trove of often obscure and peculiar statuary when a life-sized polyester resin figure of famously charismatic Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk was unveiled in Downtown Manhattan.

The statue, which commemorates Musk's 50th birthday on 28 June and was erected by online stock trading firm Public.com – for some reason which doubtless made sense to them, at least – depicts a smiling individual with an almost passing resemblance to Musk with their hands on their head, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

The response to the statue from New Yorkers, a breed of people well known for their tolerance, forbearance, and thoughtful opinions on public art, has been mostly positive.

"Thank you," wrote one on Twitter. "It's getting hard to find public toilets."

"How much to dump this crap in the East River?" pondered another.

"What better way to commemorate his contributions to our society [than] with an expensive, self-promoting but ultimately useless expression of showmanship no one asked for," effused a third.

There was also considerable widespread support for the idea of treating the statue with the same respect and reverence that the denizens of Bristol, UK, had shown to a statue of merchant and slave trader Edward Colston.

Youtube Video

The statue's startlingly distant resemblance to its inspiration has also elicited comment, with many pointing out its similarity to the famously striking bust of Cristiano Ronaldo, commissioned to grace the entrance of Madeira Airport when it was renamed after the oleaginous Portuguese football star.

Others put forward other ideas. "If George Bush Sr. and Elon had a baby it would look like this," suggested another Twitter user.

We at The Register feel that the statue certainly resembles a US president, but we are torn as to whether it looks more like a young Ronald Reagan or the statue of Jimmy Carter the residents of Springfield erect in The Simpsons and then later turn into a somewhat unconvincing tribute to Marge.

Youtube Video

The people of New York have only a short time to enjoy this addition to their fair city's fabled urban landscape, sited on 14th Street next to the High Line stairs, as Public.com are in the process of auctioning the statue on eBay.

If you wish to own a life-sized plastic figure of a generic 20th-century US president which looks deeply suspicious when viewed only from the waist up, then you have until 7 July to put in a bid. At the time of writing, the going price is a very affordable $2,550, although we imagine that will go up by at least another $15 or so over the next week.

Alternatively, if that is beyond your budget, then Public.com are also giving everyone the chance to own one of 100 14-inch miniatures of the statue to love and cherish forever. And you can imagine exactly what the denizens of Twitter have suggested they might do with those. ®

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines

    Winter Windows Is Coming

    It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations.

    The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year.

    Continue reading
  • Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

    *Don't do this

    MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available.

    The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission.

    Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps.

    Continue reading
  • Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

    An ISO image you can burn or drop onto a USB key

    The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest.

    It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

    SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022