New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bovine Love

Generally speaking, you do not walk down a familiar street and expect to be greeted by a newly installed massive steel bull. This fellow was in front of Cipriani's in SoHo on West Broadway, discovered after an expedition to the Peter Lik gallery just up the street.
Speaking to a waiter at the restaurant, I was informed that this was the work of Arturo Di Modica and that it just mysteriously appeared on the sidewalk with no explanation.
Di Modica is best known for his charging bull in the financial district. That bull was originally installed after the 1987 stock market crash. It was placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange by the artist on December 15, 1989 without permission as a Christmas gift to the city. It was seized by the police but due to public furor, was reinstalled downtown in the plaza at Bowling Green. The bull is extremely popular as a photo subject, often with visitors on, besides or grasping the bull in some manner.
There seems to be a fascination with the bovine family. In 2000, the streets of New York City were graced with cows as part of an international public art exhibit. This is an interesting choice of animal, since I have not thought of cows as being seen to be particularly charming or attractive. The concept for the Cow Parade originated in Switzerland with art director Walter Knapp and sculptor Pascal Knapp who holds the copyrights to the various cow shapes seen in the exhibits. Perhaps the Swiss connection provides some explanation of the choice of cows as animal subject.
When confronted with the Di Modica sculpture on West Broadway, I, like many others, was seized with the inexplicable desire to embrace a bull and be photographed by a friend. There's just something about a bull that makes you want to hug him - especially when he is frozen in time and unable to charge :)

8 comments:

Islipian said...

there's nothing like a bovine with a shine

Thérèse said...

Interesting indeed. Pigs in Seattle, ostriches in Chandler...

Hannah said...

Yes, the bull is really nice! I also remember the cow exhibition and I loved it. I wish there was more art in the streets, it makes them much prettier.

Winnie M said...

Check here: http://www.agilitynut.com/08/8/vanbull.jpg to see a photo of the anatomically correct prize winning Royal Sweet Diamond which resides on Georigia St.in Vancouver. It is the work of Joe Fafard.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I like this bull. I too wish there were more art in the streets & I am comforted to know the public outcry brought the other bull back. New York has such spirit.

genny said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Miriam

http://www.craigslistdecoded.info

seanjonesfoto said...

love the photo, your story and the shiny bull...

Katie cat said...

What an interesting story that both were installed with no warning or official planning!