Last weekend, Arnie's Life, a museum dedicated to the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger, officially opened at the former actor/bodybuilder/governor's childhood home in Thal, Austria. The opening, which was personally attended by Ah-nold himself, also featured the unveiling of a 9-foot tall bronze sculpture of Schwarzenegger outside the museum. Surprisingly, the statue is not a depiction of the Governator groping the breasts of a makeup artist on the set of Total Recall while Paul Verhoeven and Rachel Ticotin look on in horror. Nor it it a portrayal of him popping anabolic steroids like Nerd ropes while waiting in line at Studio 54 in the '70s, or weeping as he sits at his desk, signing over much of his $400 million fortune to ex-wife Maria Shriver.
Instead, the statue – which is featured alongside personal memorabilia and several "Terminator" models on display in the museum – is a 9-foot tall bronze sculpture of Arnie, flexing and preening and bulging like a modern-day Doryphoros, and I gotta tell you, as a former art history minor, this sculpture ain't no Doryphoros. The art object lacks the dynamism, fluidity and naturalism of classical Greek sculptures, and his contrapposto is, to put it mildly, a joke.
Nonetheless, in light of Arnold's recently publicized personal issues, and in light of the Austrian crowd's enjoyment of the statue – they chanted "Arnie" throughout the entire unveiling ceremony – it seems rather un-magnanimous to begrudge the former governor a bit of healthy ego-stroking. After all, I don't have a 9-foot tall bronze sculpture of myself in my childhood home (if I did, it would probably be made of Prozac and Cheetos), and either way the statue will probably make for some decent spank bank material for Arnie if he ever manages to pry his hands off its ass.