If there’s confusion over what the 18-foot-tall sculpture in front of John Portman’s newly reopened 230 Peachtree building is intended to represent, its name—along with its exaggerated curves—provides a clue. “This sculpture, the lovely lady Belle, is representative of my love for Atlanta,” says the 91-year-old architect, who first sketched a design of the 4,750-pound objet de street art, then modeled it in clay. Cast in hollow sections from stainless steel, Belle was welded together and polished to a mirror finish before being hauled from New York to Atlanta on a flatbed truck and mounted on a granite pedestal.
We asked passersby what they think the sculpture looks like
“It’s like a Jeff Koons take on the Venus of Willendorf.”
“A GMO strawberry from a future where all food is made from highly polished metal.”
“Looks like some of humanity’s earliest sculptures—a fertility statue.”
“An elephant standing proud with his trunk in the air.”
“The Venus of Willendorf, but with a twisted influence from Dalí.”
“A headless fertility goddess.”
“The top part looks like arms, and the bottom part looks like a booty.”
This article originally appeared in our May 2016 issue.