Sculptures from ancient times have their historical significance, but they surely cannot meet the level of sophistication that sculptures from the modern day come up with. With the help of integrated meanings, insane creativity, and abundant technology, these new-world sculptures become famous tourist attraction places in no time, and no wonder – they deserve to be. Stick with us to learn about 15 of the most fascinating sculptures in the world
1. Jatayu Earth’s Centre, India
Located in the Jatayu National Park in the state of Kerala, this incredible sculpture of demi-god Jatayu holds the title of being the world’s largest bird sculpture.
The dimensions of the sculpture measure 200 feet in length, 150 feet in width, and 70 feet in height, and it stretches out 15,000 square feet on the floor. The artist behind the design and work of the sculpture is a film director as well as a sculptor, Rajiv Anchal. The sculpture has been officially open for visitors since 17 August 2018.
The sculpture is also sometimes referred to as the “statue of women’s safety and honor,” and the roots of this claim lie in the original legend. The legends say that Jatayu, an eagle demi-god, tried to save Sita when Ravana was trying to abduct her.
Jatayu fought with all its might, but since it was old, Ravana defeated the bird by cutting off its wings. Jatayu fell on the rock which was named “Jatayupara.” It is the same stone from which the sculpture is carved. (1, 2)
2. Expansion, USA
The Expansion in Manhattan is an inspiring sculpture of a woman sitting in a meditative lotus position. Her body is cracked in places and light emerges from within, implying a very deep meaning.
The genius artist behind the sculpture is Paige Bradley. Paige, when he moved to Manhattan, was very eager to take his art to the next level and wanted to do something very unique. He literally took his wax sculpture and dropped it on the floor, and the sculpture broke into pieces.
He got scared for a moment, but got hold of himself and re-assembled the pieces in bronze. However, it was all cracked. Then he brought a lighting specialist and fixed the light that glowed from within the statue’s body. The name it was given was “Expansion.”
3. Popped Up, Hungry
Popped Up is an enticing statue of an angry giant man rising up from the ground by artist Ervin Loranth Herve in front of Szechenyi Square in Budapest. It became a major, popular tourist interest and got large recognition on social media and the Internet.
The huge statue was first set up on 14 October 2014 during a festival called “Art Market” that features European artists. The angry giant is interpreted very widely by people. Some say it symbolizes freedom or the desire to break free, whereas others believe it to be a representation of curiosity and dynamics of development.
The building behind the angry man also has an interesting history. It was first used as housing offices and then used as a Red Army barracks during World War II. Later, for a brief period of time, the building was left abandoned only to turn into a luxury hotel years later. (1, 2)
4. Hand of the Desert, Chile
The Hand of the Desert is a large-scale sculpture of a giant hand with fingers pointing towards the sky in the middle of the Atacama Desert by the sculptor Mario Irarrazabal.
The huge, 11-meter-tall sculpture of the hand growing out of the sand is located about 60 kilometers southeast of the town of Antofagasta. It is also known as “Mano del Desierto” and is sculpted by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrazabal. The magnified size of a human hand is said to highlight human vulnerability and helplessness.
The construction was funded by a local booster organization, Corporacion Pro Antofagasta. The monument was inaugurated on 28 March 1992.
5. The Force of Nature Series
The Force of Nature is a four-sculpture series by an Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn at different places around the Globe: China, the US, Qatar, and England. All four sculptures depict Mother Nature hurling the planet Earth in circles.
The artist personally witnessed hurricanes at different places like Thailand, the southern US, etc. and the events inspired him to begin his journey. After experiencing these disasters, he realized that Nature’s wrath could be awakened at any moment and can cause massive destruction.
He explains that these sculptures must be the reminders of this very fact. Quinn adds they should remind us of our “false sense of security” towards Mother Nature.
All the furious and powerful sculptures are made of stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze.
The first of the sculptures was installed in London, England in February 2011; the second in Doha, Qatar in October 2011; the third in New York, the USA in October 2012; and the latest one in Shanghai, China in September 2018. (1, 2)
6. Freedom, USA
The Freedom sculpture in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is one of the finest sculptures created by the artist Zenos Frudakis. The monument features four figures breaking free from the wall sequentially. The bronze structures are 20 feet long and eight feet in height. They were made public on 18 June 2001.
The idea for such a design came to the artist’s mind from the universal desire of humans to break free from some kind of situation, be it an internal conflict or dysfunctional circumstances.
The series of figures define different stages of one’s struggle to find freedom. In the first one, the figure is completely captive or unable to move.
The second figure shows the efforts of the rebellious slave trying to stir and move. In the third frame, the figure breaks himself free from the wall. In the last phase, the figure finally distances himself from the wall and his own mortality. (1, 2)
7. Vicissitudes, West Indies
Vicissitudes is a sculpture of children holding each other’s hands in a circle, facing the oceanic currents. It is one of the underwater sculptures in the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park located in the Caribbean Sea off the west coast of Grenada. The British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor explains the meaning of the particular piece of work to be unity and continuum.
The underwater park consists of varied human figures, some solitary, others in groups. The park was opened officially in May 2006, and it is the world’s first underwater sculpture park. The concrete figures amount to over 65 that cover up to 800 square meters.
One of the objectives of the artist during the project was to make the local people familiar and interact with the underwater environment. He even conceived the idea from the life casts in the local community.
The famous formation of children in a circle specifically represents kids from a different ethnic background that collectively withstands the strong oceanic currents. (source)