Friday, January 21, 2011

Momentary Art

You never know what new artistic surprises are going to pop out in front of you in Florence. Tonight while walking across the Ponte alle Grazie, I was dazed as I caught sight of this bigger-than-lifesize figure cleverly cantilevered off the side of the bridge. I had neither heard nor read about a new sculpture being placed here, so it caught me by surprise.

Pleasantly baffled, I stopped in my tracks to contemplate the figure as my hands instinctively started grappling inside my purse to find my camera. I was daunted at the statue's sense of core strength, balance and position. I was impressed at how its simple contemporary lines didn't seem to clash with its classic Renaissance surroundings. I thought it rather refreshing and lighthearted. Clearly, the entire design concept was premeditated specifically for this very spot, overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi, its silvery color complimenting and reflecting the river's light. Realizing that I had left my camera at home, I rushed home to get it.

While retrieving my camera in my apartment, I did a quick Google search to figure out where this statue came from. To my surprise, I discovered that the statue was illegally erected 2 nights ago without a permit, and that the city will probably take it down, perhaps before tomorrow. "Guerilla art", as it is called. Apparently this same artist has illegally planted other works of art through the city's streets, in an effort to gain exposure! If this is criminal art, I like it!

Realizing that the statue might be dismantled before tomorrow, I hurried back to the bridge to take a few photos and to capture the moment.