Sunday, May 12, 2013

Boy With Frog Sculpture and Punta della Dogana, Venice

DSCN2288 _ Gondola in front of Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, Venezia, 14 October
Gondola in front of Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, Venezia

When I visited Venice last October, the high water repeatedly threatened to derail my plans, and on the day when we visited a cluster near Punta della Dogana, including Peggy Guggenheim Collections and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, the water and wind were quite threatening, so we only saw the sculpture "Boy With Frog" on the very tip of Punta della Dogana from the safe distance and missed the frog held by the boy entirely.  It was an intriguing enough a sculpture viewed from the back and though I was very curious about what to see in the front, I didn't want to be swept into the lagoon and believed that I could come back someday to see it again.  However, that turned out to be a wishful thinking.

According to BBC News, that iconic sculpture "Boy With Frog" by American sculptor Charles Ray, would be removed. 
Work has begun to take away a controversial statue depicting a naked boy with a frog in a part of ancient Venice, Italian media report.

The artwork, by US sculptor Charles Ray, will be replaced by a lamp-post at the tip of the Punta della Dogana. The decision has angered some art lovers who argue that it shows a failure to embrace challenging, contemporary work. But city officials say the sculpture was always intended to be temporary.

Boy with Frog, which is gleaming white and 8ft (2.5m) tall, has occupied the tip of a triangular piece of land that separates the Grand and the Giudecca canals for almost four years... It shows a boy holding up a frog by one leg and gazing at it.

In its place will be a reproduction of the original lamp-post... The old-fashioned landmark was thought to be more in keeping with the surrounding architecture, BBC Rome correspondent Alan Johnston reports.

Some animal-lovers also argued that the image of a boy holding the frog upside down was cruel, our correspondent adds.

But a piece in La Stampa newspaper criticised Venice's council, saying "administrative cowardice" had won out over real culture.

Defending its decision, the council said the sculpture had been considered temporary and Venice had a fine record of welcoming and exhibiting modern art.
Dogana, the dividing point between S. Marco basin, the Canale della Giudecca and the Canal Grande, and its imposing building, the former Dogana de Mar (Sea Customs Post), and the adjacent majestic Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, was huge and dramatic, particularly viewed from a certain distance, as we approached it from the vaporetto (water bus), and the ever shifting images were quite amazing:

DSCN2301 _ Punta della Dogana, Venezia
Dogana de Mar (Sea Customs Post) and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

DSCN2447 _ Punta della Dogana, Venezia, 14 October

DSCN2423 _ Punta della Dogana, Venezia

DSCN2449 _ Dogana, Venezia, 14 October

Up close, with a tall mast ship mooring nearby, the site was rather romantic and becalming, as we carefully picked our way on the flooded pavement towards the tip of Punta della Dogana.

DSCN2711 _ Sailboat in front of Dogana, Venezia, 15 October

The wind was strong, the water was choppy and part of the tip was under water already.  As waves constantly lapped towards a few brave tourists who pressed forward, I stood in the safe zone and took some snapshots of the boy behind his back, thus missed the frog dangling in the boy's right hand.

DSCN2727 - Boy with Frog, by Charles Ray, Punta della Dogana, Venezia
Boy With Frog, by Charles Ray, outside the Punta della Dogana

DSCN2728 _ Statue at the tip of Fondamenta Salute, Venezia, 15 October - modified

Thanks to outdoorPDK, I am including this photo below so my readers can have better understanding of this sculpture.  It was a beautiful one, albeit undeniably controversial.

Boy With Frog
By outdoorPDK

Moving away from the tip of Punta della Dogana, we saw another unforgettable sculpture, a very somber "Vater Staat" (2010) by Thomas Schütte, in front of the grand Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

DSCN2734 _ Vater Staat by Thomas Schütte, 2010, in front of Basilica Salute, Venezia
Vater Staat by Thomas Schütte, 2010, in front of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

To me, the most memorable feature inside the Basilica was its huge geometric patterned floor under the huge rotunda. Endlessly fascinating.

DSCN2789 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

There were several wonderful sculptures, shrines, and paintings; however, this visit took place near the end of our trip and by then I was suffering art saturation, therefore my memory of those artworks was somewhat dim.  Thanks to these photos below, I can remember their subtle splendor.

DSCN2781 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

DSCN2771 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

DSCN2770 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst
- Two Museums in Venice - Gallerie dell'Accademia & Collezione Peggy Guggenheim
- Il Ghetto di Venezia and Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum) in Venice
- Bridges in Venice, Italy
- San Giorgio Maggiore, Il Redentore, Scuola e Chise Grande di San Rocco, Venezia
- Magical Piazza San Marco in Venice
- Gondolas in Venice, Italy
- Teatro La Fenice di Venezia (La Fenice Theatre in Venice)
- Bus Ride From Graz, Austria to Venice, Italy
- Graz, the City Without Entrance, and Exit
- Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in Wien (Vienna)
- Magnificent Churches in Vienna
- Visiting Four Universities in Austria and Italy
- UNESCO World Heritage Semmering Railway from Vienna to Graz

Label: Italy, Austria and Italy Trip 2012

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