Barcelona, Spain

Public sculpture: El Cap de Barcelona, Roy Lichtenstein

After the City Council commissioned it for the 1992 Olympic Games, American artist Roy Lichtenstein produced the sculpture known as Barcelona Head in 1991. The 14-meter-high sculpture was installed in Port Vell’s Passeig de Colom. The sculptor Diego Delgado realized this, and Lichtenstein’s maquette is now part of the MACBA Collection. The artist’s style is characterized by bright colors – white, red, blue, yellow, and black. The brushstrokes evoke the visual language of comics. We see a face or head with pouting lips and big eyelashes against a background of red dots in relief.

The piece is a tribute to the city and its most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi and the aesthetics of the comic/pop art world. The artist used mosaic to hide parts of the work, a clear homage to Gaudi.


Public sculpture: Molecule Man, Jonathan Borofsky

The Molecule Man is one of Berlin’s most famous monuments. The statue, which towers over the Spree, is visible from both sides of the river as people cross it. The 30m metal figure, created by American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky in 1997, is evocative of those that popped up in Los Angeles during the 1970s. The sculpture is made up of three two-dimensional figures leaning into one another. While the significance of this is left open-ended, most people believe it represents the point of intersection between the three neighborhoods where it stands; Treptow, Kreuzberg, and Friedrichshain.


Public sculpture: Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor

Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor’s public art centerpiece for the Second City’s Millennium Park, is both artwork and architecture. It creates an Instagram-ready archway for Sunday strollers and other visitors to the park. The City sculpture, affectionately is known as The Bean by locals for its bent ellipsoidal form. Cloud Gate is made entirely of mirrored steel and is Kapoor’s most well-known work due to its reflectivity and vast scale.

Gateshead, England

Public sculpture: The Angel of the North, Anthony Gormley

Since becoming winner of the prestigious Turner Prize in 1994, Antony Gormley has become one of the most celebrated contemporary sculptors in the UK. However, he’s also known the world over for his unique take on figurative art. This is one in which wide variations in scale and style are based on the same template – a cast of the artist’s own body. According to Gormley, this work work is supposed to serve as a link between Britain’s industrial past and its post-industrial future.

Howick, South Africa

Public sculpture: Nelson Mandela, Marco Cianfanelli

Cianfanelli’s portrait of Nelson Mandela. The artwork, which is located in Howick, South Africa, was commissioned by Cultural Mechanics. This is a non-profit organization that funds cultural projects for governments all over the world. Cianfanelli’s sculpture is located along the R103 road. Nelson Mandela was apprehended here by apartheid security forces in 1962 and spent the following 27 years in prison.

New York, USA

Public sculpture: Love, Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana created a pop art artwork called Love. It consists of the letters L and O in bold Didone type slanted horizontally over the letters V and E; the O’s oblong negative space forms a line leading to the V.
In 1965, the original artwork was used as a print image for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card. The artwork was shortly used on a popular US postage stamp in a similar manner. Love’s original sculpture was created in 1970 and is on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indiana. COR-TEN steel is the material used.

Paris, France

Public sculpture: Le Pouce (The thumb), César Baldaccini

César was commissioned to create a work for the exhibition at the Claude-Bernard gallery in Paris in 1965. The sculptor discovered the idea of pantographic enlargement. He created an imprint of his own thumb using a cast that he enlarged to 40 cm. But because he had limited resources at the time, it was constructed of translucent pink plastic. Faced with the apparent phallic work’s success, he decides to recreate it in other sizes and materials.
In 1989, La Défense commissioned one from him. In 1994, Le Pouce opened on the forecourt of La Défense. The statue was restored to its former appearance in 2015.

Prague, Czech Republic

Public sculpture: Zaven mu, David Černý

The sculpture known also know as Man Hanging Out, was first constructed in 1996. It is the vision of Czech sculptor David ern, whose work can be found all across Prague. Cerny’s work is known for being purposely provocative, and this one is no exception. At a distance it appears surprisingly lifelike, and a number of people have mistaken it for a person in danger. It is, however, merely a sculptural statement about intellectualism in the twentieth century and ern’s ambiguity regarding it.

Various locations

Public sculpture: Le Pouce (The thumb), César Baldaccini, 1965Louise Bourgeois, Maman

In all its terrifying beauty, this bronze, stainless steel, and marble sculpture is as frightening as it is inspiring. It depicts a spider, that the artist interprets as her mother, who worked as a weaver and a was a clever creature just like a spider. The first Maman, which stood over 30 feet tall and over 33 feet wide (927 x 891 cm) and contained a net sack with 26 marble eggs, was built in 1999. Tate Modern, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao are among its permanent venues. Its bronze equivalents were recently put outside Stockholm’s Moderna Museet and Moscow’s Garage Museum. Since then, the artwork has been replicated in a number of formats for use in exhibitions all over the world.

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