UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Chicago is a city filled with renowned artwork, and for 12 years one of those pieces has sat quietly outside museum walls in a courtyard of an apartment building.
It's a water fountain with a blue-tiled base surrounded by bright, leafy trees and is meant for all the community ... to remember to pick up after their dogs.
Atop that tiled base is a bronze coil of dog doo-doo, spouting a gentle stream of water, and displays the straightforward, "S--- Fountain" name on all four sides.
The fountain was created and installed in 2005 by famous Polish Chicago artist Jerzy S. Kenar, who also created the neighboring angel statue at the corner of Wolcott and Augusta Avenues.
It's since become famous among locals, and appears on travel blogs for visitors.
Kenar's other works can be found throughout O'Hare Airport and the Harold Washington Library, as well as churches and galleries around the city and world.
In 2005, Kenar revealed the fountain on the Fourth of July and later told Time Out Chicago the piece was "dedicated to all the dogs in Chicago."
"I have flowers in front of the gallery, and someone [will be] walking their dog and the dog is jumping there...and s------- there and someone is not picking [it] up," he told Time Out.
Kenar said he wasn't trying to fight with his neighbors, but preserve the beauty of his flowers and to remind them to always pick-up after their pet.
Now, 12 years later, Devon Kondziela, who lives by the statue, said in the four months he's lived there he still sees dog owners leaving waste behind from time to time, but usually also get a laugh from the statue.
“I think people don’t get what it’s for, which is funny in its own right, that’s what makes it a great piece,” Kondziela said. “It’s funny cause it’s s---, but it’s also kind of like, ‘Well you’re kind of a d---, you should probably clean up after your dog.’ But most people let their dog s--- and then point and laugh at it, which is kind of nice."
When Kondziela went to see the apartment before moving in, he said he wasn't told there would be a statue of dog poop in his front yard, but he "started cracking up" upon seeing it.
It's not uncommon to return home to his apartment to find people taking photos with it, even standing on top and posing as if the coil was something they had created themselves.
"It's a nice piece of the community," he said.
Kol Weary, a 25-year-old chef who moved to the city only a week ago from London, said he ran into neighbors at a nearby coffee shop who told of him of the statue.
He walked by to see it for the first time while on his way home Friday.
"It is strange," Weary said with a laugh. "It's rather interesting. I thought at first it was the poo emoji. I was like, 'Is this some hipster who was here who made the poo emoji?'"
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