Palm Springs Babies

A Palm Springs detour seemed like a good idea during the planning stages of our California road trip. Portrayed on the internet as an oasis in the desert, this Southern Cali city, with its manicured gardens and arid climate, did not disappoint. Downtown Palm Springs was literally a haven for shoppers, foodies and art lovers.

Especially art lovers.

A new art installation had recently arrived into town in 2021, and I just had to see it!

Known as the Cerny Babies, these ten 11′ sculptures, on loan from Prague artist David Cerny, traveled by ship to the U.S., calling Palm Springs home for two years. This is not the first time they have crawled on American soil; they were presented in 1994 at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art.

The artist, David Cerny, is no stranger to controversy. His art is intentional, being a voice that provokes thought, and hopefully change. The Babies were created as an opposition to communism and totalitarianism as practiced in the East; ideals which he believed stifle growth and reinforce the dehumanization of society.

We encountered the Babies, located downtown in front of the Palm Springs Art Center, early in the morning. All was quiet, save for a few travelers ambling by, the aroma of their steaming cups of java wafting in the breeze. Safe and sound in a fenced off pit area (I have read that an apartment complex will soon grace this site.), to me the sculptures conveyed an eerie state of depression. Babies are dynamic, diverse, and full of potential. Cerny’s Babies totally contradicted those standards.

I guess that’s the point.


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