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.
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."
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."
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.