Locals outraged over proposed Palm Springs AIDS Memorial that looks like a gaping, well, you know…

Locals outraged over proposed Palm Springs AIDS Memorial that looks like a gaping, well, you know…

You are currently viewing Locals outraged over proposed Palm Springs AIDS Memorial that looks like a gaping, well, you know…
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Palm Springs AIDS Memorial
Screenshot via News Channel 3

Honoring those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS is usually an encouraged gesture… except when the memorial resembles the most intimate part of a person’s backside.

The controversial 9-foot structure is supposed to be erected in a Palm Springs park. The donut-like statue is filled with concentric carved circles and has a hole in the middle. “Its design is intended to evoke feelings of connection, reflection, and hope,” says News Station 3.

But for many, the design elicits feelings of disgust and downright rage.

“It’s really strained,” said one Palm Springs resident. “I mean, it’s almost like a piece of art looking for a purpose, instead of the other way around. It could be about anything, and as a consequence, it’s kind of about nothing.”

Put simply, devoid of meaning, the structure just kind of looks like an anus.

The news segment on the $500,000 artistic misfire is unintentionally hilarious. It begins with a serious anchor trying to introduce the segment without describing the memorial’s unfortunate layout.

“There are concerns tonight being raised about an AIDS memorial planned for downtown Palm Springs. Some people don’t like it. Here’s Jake Ingrassia for more on the controversy,” he says.

Ingrassia, for his part, gets a little cheeky.

“It is a 9-foot sculpture planned for a Palm Springs park meant to remember lives lost to HIV and AIDS. But the design doesn’t resonate with everyone,” he says. “In fact, some call it ‘inappropriate,’ and also the view that it too closely resembles… other things.”

One of the subjects interviewed, Gene Brake, puts his interpretation more bluntly.

“The backside of the proposed memorial looks like a graphic depiction of the backside of a human being,” he says.

It’s hard to argue with that!

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force, which commissioned the design, told residents it will work on a revised model.

On the positive side, the idea behind the sculpture is truly well-intended.

“The sculpture will have maximum impact in the Downtown Park by adding great beauty and providing the opportunity for reflection and remembrance. An HIV educational component, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment options is also being planned.” the group’s website reads.

Palm Springs, which proudly calls itself the “gayest city in America,” is a great location for an HIV/AIDS memorial. Long an LGBTQ+ haven, the desert oasis gained notoriety in the mid-20th century as a luxurious spot that offered closeted actors privacy.

Today, Palm Springs is the epicenter of gay life in Southern California. It was the first city to elect an all-LGBTQ+ council, and still hosts troves of gay celebrities.

The liberal city also has the highest prevalence of HIV+ men over 50.

LGBTQ+ history is taken seriously in Palm Spring; and as a result, residents want a memorial that befits the topic.

Or at least, can’t be mistaken for a gaping rectum.


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