Beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder. But for as long as art has been around, beholders have sometimes questioned the thought process of the artist. St. Louis has its share of perplexing artistic expression, but on the upside, these pieces always elicit conversation and thought, even if it is only “What was the artist thinking?”


“Twain” by Richard Serra
Gateway Plaza
Market St. and N. 11th St.
Saint Louis, MO 63101

May of this year marked the 30th anniversary of Richard Serra’s sculpture, “Twain,” displayed between Chestnut and Market Streets in downtown St. Louis. For 30 years, the sculpture has had people asking themselves, “What was he thinking?” This work of art consists of eight rusting steel slabs that are arranged in a triangle in the mall area near the Civil Courts building. Early in Serra’s career, he made a living as a steel worker as he studied art in Santa Barbara. His father, a pipe fitter, was also an early inspiration for Serra’s unique fascination with large-scale metal works. In 1970, he began his site-specific design. France, Holland, Pittsburgh and New York are just a few other locations that boast Serra’s work.

Related: Top Iconic Works of Art In St. Louis


“Eye” by Tony Tasset
Laumeier Sculpture Park
12580 Rott Road
St. Louis, MO 63127

If you have ever had that creepy feeling that you were being watched, you will certainly experience that fear in Laumeier Sculpture Park. Tony Tasset created a very large version of his own eye which perpetually stares at the landscape in the sculpture park and invites observers to ponder how we view our shared attributes. It’s spooky but impressive nonetheless.


“Eros Bendato” by Igor Mitoraj
City Garden
Between 8th St. to 10th St. and Chestnut St. to Market St.

If one truly wants to know what an artist was thinking when they created a piece of art, a perfect opportunity to crawl into the head of Igor Metoraj to gain his perspective awaits you at St. Louis’ City Garden. Metoraj’s creation, “Eros Bendato,” is a large-scale head in which visitors to the park are welcome to walk inside and view the city from within the piece. “Eros Bendato” has been on display at City Garden since 2009 and has gained great popularity in that short time. Metaraj is German born and studied art in Poland. He has lived in Mexico and Italy and has his art displayed all over the world in such places as Italy, Switzerland and Japan.


“Shoe of Shoes” by Victoria Fuller
8300 Maryland Ave.
Clayton, MO 63105

Cinderella never imagined a slipper like this, but perhaps it is an appropriate monument to one of St. Louis’ Fortune 1000 companies. In front of the Brown Shoe Company offices in Clayton rests a replica created by artist Victoria Fuller of a giant shoe. The giant shoe is not made of glass but of hundreds of cast-aluminum shoes, reminiscent of Fuller’s style to use objects to create her assemblages. The work of art is over eight feet high and 12 feet long. “Shoe of Shoes” gives a new meaning to the saying “big shoes to fill.”


“FM6 Walking Jackman” by Ernest Trova
98 N. Brentwood Blvd.
Clayton, MO 63105

St. Louis native Ernest Trova has created some of the world’s most interesting art, and his “Falling Man” series always elicits a double take and perhaps a perplexed reaction from passersby on Brentwood Boulevard. The “FM6 Walking Jackman” is a series of six armless, nude figures with three heads up and three heads down, emanating from a granite cube. Trova created the “Falling Man” in 1964 and it is known as his most famous work.

Related: Top Spots for Art Glass In St. Louis

Lisa Payne-Naeger, a native of the St. Louis area, is a freelance writer, blogger, political activist and a homeschooling mother of two children. Her work can be found at