Similar to Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg took ordinary, manufactured objects and enlarged them as statements of society's dependence on industrialization. A sculptor, Oldenburg also chose unconventional locations wherein to position his artworks for public viewing. They most frequently appear, not in museums, but in regular, everyday public places, such as this giant pickaxe, which rests awkwardly on the grounds of a park in Kassel, Germany.
The focus is vaguely reminiscent of Georgia O'Keeffe's enlargement of the flower. Oldenburg's attention to conventional objects in unconventional places displays not just the intricate social critique of a pop artist who seeks to comment on the nature of consumerism in American culture but a memorable effusion of one of the basic qualities of artists of all mediums; and it is the thing which has come to define art in the modern era perhaps most of all—the ability of the artist to think outside the box. After all, most of the fun in inventions such as this lies in wondering why the artist chose to position the pickaxe the way in which he did; and why that particular location; and why so big; etc., etc. This is the heart of ingenuity, creativity, and, in a way, art itself.