And the Fourth Plinth winner should be …

    At the National Gallery a selection of proposals shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square has gone on show. Since it started in 1998, the Fourth Plinth project has given London some feisty artistic sights and yanked the entire territory of public sculpture out of the past and into the present.

    A lot rides on these Fourth Plinth decisions. And recent controversies about the role of public sculpture — and its guilts — have given the event even more relevance.

    You can find the seven shortlisted projects below. Three of them — by Ruth Ewan, Chila Kumari Singh Burman and Tschabalala Self — seem to me to lack originality and imagination. One, by Gabriel Chaile, is too weird. Which leaves Thomas J Price, Veronica Ryan and Andra Ursuta as the contenders.

    I’m tempted by Ryan’s giant yam — it’s so excellently surreal. But the sheer beauty of Price’s golden head will surely get the first nod.

    The Fourth Plinth shortlist


    Inspired by African sculpture, the British sculptor hopes to put the golden head of an imaginary black woman on the Fourth Plinth.


    If the Scot wins, the lions in Trafalgar Square will be joined by a black cat. Lucky charm or symbol of evil?


    The recent Turner prizewinner prompts questions about authenticity and colonialism with a surreal tribute to imported foodstuffs.


    Lots of statues on lots of plinths feature a figure on a horse. The Romanian-American ups the mystery by hiding it under a drape.


    One for the kiddies. Burman wants to bring a giant Indian ice-cream van into Trafalgar Square with music.


    In Chaile’s native Argentina, hornero birds build clay nests on the nation’s monuments. This is a giant version.


    Striding black mama gets ready to kick ass on the Fourth Plinth. In the case of this American artist, what you see is what it says on the tin.