Public artwork has been present from a long time ago, becoming part of our context and the way we live our common spaces. With the rise of travelling and tourism all over the world, public art has become a tourist attraction by itself, getting a whole new meaning about the way art is performed and used to send a message. From New York City to quiet corners of South Africa, fascinating sculptures take place in spaces that are usually not their own, but they make them theirs with their power and cultural significance. Here are some of our favorites.
Force of Nature by Lorenzo Quinn
Placed in several cities of the world, were inspired by the rampant destruction of hurricanes that Quinn witnessed in Thailand, the Southern U. S. and other countries around the world. Made from bronze, stainless steel and aluminum, it represents Mother Nature spinning the world in circles to remind us about the false sense of security we have and how nature’s power can bring sudden destruction in a blink of the eye.
The Shoes on The Danube Bank by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer
Conceived by film director Can Togay and sculpted by Gyula Pauer, this artwork was created on the east side of the Danube River to honor the Jews who were killed there during World War II. Before getting killed, they were ordered to take their shoes off so when they got shot their bodies would fell into the river and getting carried away. It’s made by sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes made of iron.
Nelson Mandela by Marco Cianfanelli
At the 50th year of Nelson Mandela’s incarceration by the apartheid policy, South african artist Marco Cianfanelli revealed this memorial made by 50 spans of steel columns measuring 6.5 and 9 meters high, showing Mandela’s face behind bars. It’s placed in Howick, a town that’s 90 kilometers away from the city of Durban. Becoming a part of its surroundings, the sculpture and its perception is affected by light and the atmosphere around it.
Les Voyageurs by Bruno Catalano
This sculpture placed in in Marseilles, France is part of Catalano’s artwork where he intends to represent how travelers and specially immigrants always leave pieces of them behind when they have to leave home. Made in bronze, he was inspired by his nomadic lifestyle born in Morocco in a Sicilian family, raised in France and becoming a sailor in his twenties.
Freedom Sculpture by Zenos Frudakis
You can find this piece in Philadelphia, at the String Theory Schools Performing Arts Campus. This bronze piece measuring 20-foot long is meant to express the feeling of breaking free from things that hold us back, something that everybody has experienced. Frudakis, who comes from a Greek family, wanted everybody to quickly recognize the feeling.
The Architectural Fragment by Petrus Spronk
Located in Melbourne, Australia, this bluestone sculpture is meant to talk about the destruction of civilization while alluding to the transience of life. Standing before the state library of Victoria, it displays an old library building buried underground like it was abandoned. Spronk, born in Holland and schooled in Australia, used archaeological artefacts as an inspiration, because he wanted it to look and feel like the discovery of an ancient world.