Dutch artist's duck arrives in Sydney harbour

Florentijn Hofman's duck sculpture will float in Darling Harbour until January 23 as part of the Sydney Festival
Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck - image courtesy of the artist
Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck - image courtesy of the artist


SHARE THIS PAGE


Related


 

How should one interpret Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck, an 11-metre high inflatable sculpture, that was towed into Sydney harbour earlier this week as part of the city's annual arts festival?

Is the oversized waterfowl a comment on the famous 29,000 Friendly Floatees bath toys, that were washed into the pacific 21 years ago, and continue to make landfall all over the globe? Nope. Perhaps it alludes to The Philippine Government's decision to ban Australian poultry imports, thanks to a recent Avian Flu outbreak? Wrong again.

 

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in Sydney

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in Sydney

Hofman, who has has displayed his inflatable waterfowl in numerous cities around the globe since 2007, including Rotterdam, Sao Paulo and Auckland, advises us not to think too hard about his sculpture, and instead just enjoy it. The artist describes his yellow creation as "a very positive artistic statement that immediately connects people to their childhood."

 

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in Sao Paulo - image courtesy of the artist

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in Sao Paulo - image courtesy of the artist

Hofman says The Rubber Duck "knows no frontiers, doesn't discriminate against people and doesn't have a political connotation." The 35-year-old artist, who has also created a fat monkey from flipflops, says "my sculptures cause uproar, astonishment and put a smile on your face. They give people a break from their daily routines. Passers-by stop in front of them, get off their bicycle and enter into conversation with other spectators."

This more or less describes the reception Sydney's citizens gave Hofman's bird three days ago, when they greeted the piece with duck calls and a shower of miniature, bath-sized duckies, and headlines in the local press of this cricket-loving nation, describing how the locals had come " All out for a duck."

 

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in St. Nazaire - image courtesy of the artist

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck in St. Nazaire - image courtesy of the artist

Those keen to see Hofman's bird can view it in the city's Darling Harbour until January 23. For more information, visit the festival's site, the artist's site,  and for other works engendering uproar and astonishment, consider our Surrealism volume.


SHARE THIS PAGE


. . Phi . . . .
. Thank you for visiting Phaidon .
. You are invited to join the Phaidon community. Subscribe and receive the latest stories and members-only discounts. .
. .
.