fuming with rage over a sculpture of two women and their children outside the Library of Birming-ham. To him it's not just a sculpture, it's a political statement that offends his delicate sensibilities.
He objects to the idea that this is a "normal" family and says "kids are always better off with both parents in their lives." He obviously thinks sculpture should convey an ideologically right-on message and has never grasped the strange notion of freedom of artistic expression. Presumably he believes the only "correct" sculpture would be one of Mr and Mrs Average of Acacia Avenue, Anytown.
He was so incensed that he travelled from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire to Birmingham to make his protest. He stuck photos of himself and his two young daughters onto three of the figures and threw a sheet over the other one.
So does he feel better for his valiant protest on behalf of normal, properly-parented families? Hard to say. In the photos, he looks glum and wary rather than pleased with himself. In fact he looks as if he's just lost a fiver and found a penny.
The artist, Gillian Wearing, explained sensibly enough that "a nuclear family is one reality but it is one of many and this work celebrates the idea that what constitutes a family should not be fixed."
There seems to be an increasing tendency to see works of art not as complete in themselves but supposedly "representing" some wider bunch of people who then complain they're being insulted or maligned in some way. The unsuspecting artist is said to be denigrating women, or men, or gays, or heterosexuals, or whichever group is dancing with rage.
Can they not accept that a work of art isn't a political manifesto but simply an aesthetic and emotional creation with nothing to say other than whatever the random onlooker takes from it?
As for the idea that the sculpture is making fathers invisible, you only have to walk down any busy street to see dozens of them with their children in tow. If Bobby Smith could tear his attention from "incorrect" art-work for a few minutes, he might actually notice some of them. Unless they're all covered with sheets, that is.
Pic: A Real Birmingham Family by Gillian Wearing