Stephen Bywater: Footballer & Erotic Artist.By: The Offside | September 23rd, 2010
Footballers can be a strange breed. Artists can also be a strange breed. Take a footballer, turn him into an artist and you have a Tim Burton film.
Derby County keeper Stephen Bywater fancies himself both a footballer and an artist. His neighbors think he’s just a perverted pornographer who puts blowup dolls on his front yard.
This is a battle for the ages.
Genuinely, actually, as once again we ask the eternal question: what constitutes ‘art’?
Rubber genitalia doesn’t fall under my definition, but then that’s a personal choice.
The makeshift exhibition, which included wind chimes, a blow-up doll embellished with rubber genitalia and a portable toilet covered in graffiti, were described by ‘eyesores’ by his neighbours and last night the keeper covered his handiwork with tarpaulins. One of the mottos, painted on the side of a disused toilet block, coupled with a bright blue horse box, reads “piece and love” (sic).
The village, with a population of just 125, it has no shop, no post office, no pub, no regular bus service, no school, and is considered to be a very close-knit community of the rich and well to do.
According to the former West Ham player’s next-door neighbour he started putting the erotic pieces in his garden last December.
The 75-year-old, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were away on holiday when he put it up. Our neighbours sent us pictures to show us what he had done and my wife didn’t want to come home. He adds to it all the time, painting extra bits and putting more things on.’
Bywater has defended himself and said: “Lots of people have a hobby and my current hobby is art. We spoke to the neighbours at their request and they told us that as far as they are concerned it can stay, and I quote, ‘we are not that bothered?”
In reference to his misspelled graffiti, he added: “She advised me to use a dictionary.”
However, he has agreed to take it down. For the children. And probably, knowing full well the other hobbies of footballers, put that blowup doll to good use. Which, if we’re to consider the notion that art can serve no function, would lead us to believe that this is not art. So long as he uses it properly, anyway.
This is reportedly the installation in question. Or maybe it’s just a random dump site.
[Spotted at The Spoiler]