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Ode to Art: Another 8 Stunning, Surreal Sculptures from around the World Part 2

HERE IS THE SECOND PART TO OUR ODE TO ART series on sculptures. Hope you enjoyed the first. There have been quite a few sculptures done on hands, which is not surprising, since they are among the most expressive parts of our bodies. There’s truism when they say ─ “Speaking with your Hands”. Which is why we open the second part to the sculpture story with Hands. Enjoy.

1 The Caring Hand by Eva Oertli and Beat Huber, Glarus, Switzerland

This cleverly-placed sculpture in concrete is 1.6m high and is made by Eva Oerti  and Beat Huber. It is located in a park in Glarus, Switzerland. The artists just call it “Hand” but others have named it “The Caring Hand”.

“Hand” installation with tree, concrete (2004), Beat Huber and Eva Oertli. (Pic by cloudmind.info)
“Hand” installation with tree, concrete (2004), Beat Huber and Eva Oertli. (Pic by cloudmind.info)

Here’s a description of it in Beat Huber’s site.

“The plan for this installation was created in 1990 as an art-am-building idea for a new agricultural school in Entlebuch. It was also built to raise funds. For the present “hand”, a total of nine persons worked in various stages during the production. Beat Huber and Eva Oertli were responsible for the realization and financing of the project. However, the organizer of the exhibition called “Skulptura 04” took over the costs for transporting the concrete elements to Glarus.”

And that’s not to be mistaken with this hand. Called “Hand of Harmony” by Bastion Schimpf, this hand plus wrist is located at Homigot, Republic of Korea, at the easternmost point of South Korea, nearby Pohang City.
And The Caring Hand is not to be mistaken with this hand. Called “Hand of Harmony” by Bastion Schimpf, this hand plus wrist poking out of the sea is located at Homigot, Republic of Korea, at the easternmost point of South Korea, nearby Pohang City.

 

2 A Day Out ─ The Pigs in Rundle Mall Adelaide, Australia

Sculpture by: Marguerite Derricourt | Image credits: peterclayton.com.au
Sculpture by: Marguerite Derricourt | Image credits: peterclayton.com.au

 

From the look of these four life-size bronze pigs, they are having a great day out in Rundle Mall. Called A Day Out, one little piggy has his snout in a rubbish bin bronzed-capped with a crumpled milk carton, orange peel, a half-eaten banana, apple core and a left-over sandwich. Another happily sits with its very large bottom spread on the pavement; while still another comes running to join the fun. They all glow from the loving hugs and pats of children and passers-by.

The positive community response to the pigs after their launch by Lord Mayor Dr Jane Lomax-Smith on 3 July 1999 led the Adelaide City Council and the Advertiser newspaper to conduct a competition to name them. A plaque by each animal states its name and the person who named it: Sarah Chan called the standing pig ‘Oliver’; Sam Andt named the happy pig ‘Truffles’; Dorothy Arnold chose ‘Augusta’ for the sniffing pig; and Jemmy Bridges called the sitting pig ‘Horatio’.

The sculpture was instigated by the Adelaide City Council as part of the final stage of an upgrade of Rundle Mall in the late 1990s. A national sculpture competition resulted in 126 entries being considered by an independent selection panel which included representatives of the Art Gallery of South Australia, the upgrade project’s architect, the council, a Rundle Mall trader and the arts sector. The council chose the proposal by Marguerite Derricourt from the group of finalists identified by the panel.

This guy sitting in front is called Horatio! There was a competition held to name the pigs. (Pic by adventurebeforedementia) diane-adventurebeforedementia.blogspot.my/2012/03/malls-balls-and-more.html
This guy sitting in front is called Horatio! There was a competition held to name the pigs. (Pic by adventurebeforedementia)

 

About the Sculptor

South African born Marguerite Derricourt is the sculptor.  She migrated to Sydney, Australia a while ago. She demonstrates an affinity with animals in her numerous public artworks. Asked why she decided to sculpt a group of pigs, Derricourt commented:

“There is a long history of animal figures in urban sculpture which reflect their importance to our society. I chose to sculpt pigs because I was captivated by their shapes and rounded forms, especially when created in a beautiful and enduring material like bronze. I really want people to touch them and interact with them.” – Marguerite Derricourt

(Excerpted from adelaidia)

 

3 The Mustangs of Las Colinas by Robert Glen, Williams Square Plaza, Texas, USA

The horses have been individually created and thus look different from one another. Robert Glen, their creator took 8 years to complete the installation.
The horses have been individually created and thus look different from one another. Robert Glen, their creator took 8 years to complete the installation.

 

The Mustangs of Las Colinas is a breathtakingly realistic bronze sculpture of nine wild mustangs galloping across a granite stream. Tourists from around the world come to view the impressive, larger-than-life depiction that serves as the centerpiece of Williams Square, a stark, pink granite plaza in the Las Colinas Urban Center in Texas, USA.

The horse sculptures are most apt, Texas being the home of the cowboys and the wild country. Horses are very much a part of the fabric of Texan history.

Anyway, adjacent to the sculpture, in the East Tower of Williams Square Plaza, is the Mustangs of Las Colinas Museum. In the museum, visitors learn the story of the eight years of work African wildlife artist Robert Glen invested in creating the Mustangs. The museum also presents a short film which brings to life for the visitor the time and effort that went into designing, moulding, and mounting this distinctive piece of public art. Other works of art by Robert Glen are also on display in the museum. (Info & Image sourced from: mustangsoflascolinas.com)

Another view of the galloping horses. This equestrian sculpture uses small fountains for the splash effect to create the illusion of movement, as if the horses are really galloping across the pool. Brilliant. (pic from fineartamerica.com)
Another view of the galloping horses. This equestrian sculpture uses small fountains for the splash effect to create the illusion of movement, as if the horses are really galloping across the pool. Brilliant. (pic from fineartamerica.com)

 

4 Break Through From Your Mold (Freedom) by Zenos Frudakis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Now that’s Breaking Free. Hence the name ─ Freedom Sculpture. (Pic by Julija Kieksyte)
Now that’s Breaking Free. Hence the name ─ Freedom Sculpture. (Pic by Julija Kieksyte)

On the Freedom Sculpture, creator Frudakis said:

“I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.” – Zenos Frudakis

Freedom Sculpture Specifications
Size:
 20 feet long x 8 feet high
Weight: 7,000 pounds
Media: Bronze
Sculptor: Zenos Frudakis
Date of Dedication: June 18, 2001
Location: 16th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(Info and bottom pics from: zenosfrudakis.com)

Freedom, from another perspective, is still as good. (pic: Zenos Frudakis)
Freedom, from another perspective, is still as good. (pic: Zenos Frudakis)

 

Zenos Frudakis (4th from left) is known for his public monuments, portrait statues, busts and figurative sculptures. Freedom, his best known sculpture, has become an Internet icon inspiring many in their quest to break free from boundaries. Zenos' sculpture Freedom has been listed in The Top Ten: Public Art by The Independent.
Zenos Frudakis (4th from left) is known for his public monuments, portrait statues, busts and figurative sculptures. Freedom, his best known sculpture, has become an Internet icon inspiring many in their quest to break free from boundaries. Zenos’ sculpture Freedom has been listed in The Top Ten: Public Art by The Independent.

 

5 Expansion by Paige Bradley, New York, USA

Expansion Specifications | Bronze with Electricity | 76 x 35 x 17 in | 193 x 89 x 43 cm (pic: Paige Bradley)
Expansion Specifications | Bronze with Electricity | 76 x 35 x 17 in | 193 x 89 x 43 cm (pic: Paige Bradley)

 

I conceived of this piece ─ Expansion ─ when I first moved to Manhattan. I was a bit startled by the power of the curators and the critics and how they all had an anti-figure slant on what they deemed show-worthy. So many of these people felt like everything figurative had already been done, and real art was about being a “Visionary” rather than just showing ability, accuracy or general talent. Thus, the figure had generally disappeared from galleries, museums, important collections, art fairs and other shows. The few of us that were left had no place to exhibit and our voice was not being heard. Many figurative sculptors started teaching, as that was all they could do.

If I wanted to stay in the fine art field, I knew I had to join my contemporaries and make ‘contemporary’ art. I knew that it was time to let go of all the finely tuned skills I had acquired over the years, and just trust in the process of making art. The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.” (Excerpted from paigebradley.com)

Close-up of the sculpture. This pic is from boredpanda.com is by Anastasia Tank
Close-up of the sculpture. This pic is from boredpanda.com is by Anastasia Tank

 

“The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.” – Paige Bradley

6 The Monument Of An Anonymous Passerby, by Jerzy Kalina, Wroclaw, Poland

Passage by Jerzy Kalina,1977-2005, photo. Bartłomiej Kudowicz /Forum (photo taken in Wrocław in 2013)
Passage by Jerzy Kalina,1977-2005, photo. Bartłomiej Kudowicz /Forum (photo taken in Wrocław in 2013)

 

The magazine Arch2O has published their list of the most creative sculptures in the world. Among them is a piece by Polish artist Jerzy Kalina in Wrocław.

At the end of May 2015, the architecture and design magazine Arch2O published their list of 25 most creative statues on their Facebook page. Among the monuments was an outstanding piece by Kalina. His famous sculpture Passage, which is commonly called Monument to the Anonymous Passerby, stood in Warsaw temporarily in 1977, and was moved to an intersection in Wrocław in 2005. The installation consists of 14 figures. The main character is a woman, and the other figures are her family, half of whom sink into the ground in front of her, and the other half of whom rise up behind her.

Pic from: enjoywroclaw.wordpress.com
Pic from: enjoywroclaw.wordpress.com

 

The piece has been celebrated since its creation. It was covered widely by the media, and critics considered it to be the most important artistic event of 1977. Many years later in 2011, Newsweek said that Passage was one of the 15 most beautiful places in Poland. In addition, the magazine Budget Travel declared Kalina’s statues to be one of the most unique places in the world.

The idea to place the installment at the intersection of Świętokrzyska and Mazowiecka in Warsaw was born from a television program, Vox Populi, which was created by art curators Antoni Dzieduszycki and Jan Zielecki. (Pic and Info from culture.pl)

The Rise and Fall of the Anonymous Passersby. Here, in front of the woman sculpture, the figures sink ahead of her. (Pic via mymodernmet.com)
The Rise and Fall of the Anonymous Passersby. Here, in front of the woman sculpture, the figures sink ahead of her. (Pic via mymodernmet.com)

 

7 Black Ghost (Juodasis Vaiduoklis) by S. Jurkus and S. Plotnikovas Klaipeda, Lithuania

Here comes the Grim Reaper, climbing right up the pier. Sculpture "Juodasis Vaiduoklis" (The Black Ghost) is by sculptors S. Jurkus and S. Plotnikovas. The architects are V. Dapkevičius and V. Balsys)
Here comes the Grim Reaper, climbing right up the pier. Sculpture “Juodasis Vaiduoklis” (The Black Ghost) is by sculptors S. Jurkus and S. Plotnikovas. The architects are V. Dapkevičius and V. Balsys)

 

If you have not heard yet about the mystical Juodasis Vaiduoklis or The Black Ghost which was mentioned in and old manuscript – you will now. If you have not seen the horrendous, grotesque figure yet – you will. But the best thing is to befriend the spectral creature, many riches and fortune awaits the daring.

Near the castle remains, just past the swing bridge, there is a bronze sculpture of a ghostly silhouette that looks like it is just stepping out of the water via the shore line. 2.4 metres in height, the sculpture holds its own secret – everyone who comes near the frightful sculpture will be greeted by it.

Look at the details of the sculpture. Check out the feet. The Black Ghost is quite a hit with tourists.
Look at the details of the sculpture. Check out the feet. The Black Ghost is quite a hit with tourists.

 

According to one legend, in 1595, one of Klaipėda Castle guards, Hans von Heidi, saw a ghost. The mystical visitor warned the guard that the city’s supplies of grain and timber may be running out, and with that, it vanished just as it had appeared. (Excerpt & Pics from Klaipeda Tourist and Information Centre)

Let’s take a look at his face. Oooo….there’s none. (Pic saved from Pinterest)
Let’s take a look at his face. Oooo….there’s none. (Pic saved from Pinterest)

 

8 Fairy Dancing With Dandelion by Robin Wight, UK

Great illusion of drama, wind and movement. Each sculpture is based on a thick and crude skeleton that is gradually wrapped with finer and finer wires. (Pic: Robin Wight)
Great illusion of drama, wind and movement. Each sculpture is based on a thick and crude skeleton that is gradually wrapped with finer and finer wires. (Pic: Robin Wight)

 

Robin Wight, a talented photographer based in the UK, creates enchanting Fairy Sculptures out of stainless steel wires. Each is dynamic and lively, as though it might hop away and disappear at any moment with a spritely giggle.

Each fairy is based on a thick and crude skeleton that is gradually wrapped with finer and finer wires, giving them muscle mass and, finally, “skin.” At the core of each fairy is a pebble that Wight leaves there as a signature of his work. Some of the stones also have engraved messages on them. Wight also creates giant dandelions that seem to disintegrate in the wind, despite their being made of steel.

Many of his fairies are on display at Trentham Gardens but others have been sold to private clients as well. He also makes them to order! (Excerpt & Pics from deMilked.com)

Drama is created through the illusion of wind billowing through a gossamer fairy and dandelion. Apparently Wight says on his website he creates each fairy individually. They are not mass produced.
Drama is created through the illusion of wind billowing through a gossamer fairy and dandelion. Apparently Wight says on his website he creates each fairy individually. They are not mass produced.
Wight says his wire fairies were inspired by an inexplicable encounter with one. Here’s his depiction of a happy fairy traipsing down a bridge bannister.
Wight says his wire fairies were inspired by an inexplicable encounter with one. Here’s his depiction of a happy fairy traipsing down a bridge bannister.
“In each fairy I try to apply design criteria, including a story, movement, some visual illusion, emotion and natural forces,” says Robin Wight who makes-to-order wire fairies. He can be contacted through Fantasy Wire.
“In each fairy I try to apply design criteria, including a story, movement, some visual illusion, emotion and natural forces,” says Robin Wight who makes-to-order wire fairies. He can be contacted through his website Fantasy Wire.

 

Wight says it was while mending a fence that he got the idea that the wire was a sculptural medium as it is cheap, accessible to all, and doesn’t require any welding or special processes. “It’s like metal clay,“ he says, and is virtually limitless in what you can produce.

Don’t miss the first part. Click: Ode to Art: 8 Stunning, Surreal Sculptures from around the World Part 1

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