15 of the Most Fascinating Sculptures in the World

by Shivam Khandelwal3 years ago

8 The Knotted Gun, US

The Knotted Gun Sculpture is also known as the “Non-Violence” sculpture. It is an oversized bronze sculpture of a revolver with its muzzle tied in a knot by a Swedish artist, Carl Reutersward. The sculptor created the structure as a tribute to musician John Lennon after he was shot in 1980.

The Knotted Gun, US
Image credit: Marco Rubino/Shutterstock.com

There are many copies of the sculpture made at different places. The original one was first located in the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park, New York. Later, the Luxembourg government donated a bronze sculpture to the UN in 1988, and since then, it stands right in front of the UN headquarters.

Digging into the detail, the sculpture is of a Colt Python .357 magnum revolver. Since 1993, it has been a symbol of an NGO, “The Non-Violence Project,” that spreads education about social change through violence prevention. (1, 2)


9 Rain, Ukraine

Rain is the name given by the Ukrainian artist Nazar Bilyk to his alluring sculpture which features a human figure looking at the sky with an enlarged raindrop suspended on its face. The meaning is differently interpreted, but the most common one is the man’s intricate relationship with nature.

Rain, Ukraine
Image credit: bilyknazar.com

There are actually 10 total sculptures of “Rain,” one of them being featured in the Kyiv Fashion Park since 2011.

The artist explains that the reason for the figure glancing up towards the sky is the inner dialogue of the man with himself that he is always enticed with. It is man’s search for unanswered questions for a lifetime.

The person in the sculpture is porous and dry, and that symbolizes dry land that seeks water. And the intently enlarged raindrop that makes the man look tiny like an insect. And most importantly, the art especially is concerned with the difficulties of a man trying to coexist with the environment. (1, 2)


10 Los Voyageurs, France

Los Voyageurs is a series of 10 human-sized bronze sculptures that have the majority of their bodies missing. The figures can be found in Marseilles and are a product of the French artist Bruno Catalano’s work. Apparently, the structures seem to defy gravity and are based on melancholy and existential themes.

Los Voyageurs, France
Image credit: brunocatalano.com

“Les Voyageurs” means travelers. The artist explains the idea behind the strange figures to be residing in a lesser popular opinion of traveling. He said something very contrary to the much vocal opinion about travel which is that it broadens and enriches you.

For him, travel was diminishing, and all of his journeys left him with a feeling that a part of him has gone and will never come back. This very perspective gave him the idea of the fading humans that he created.

However, individual figures have their separate meanings. The entire set of artwork was created in 2013, and it made the city of Marseilles the European Capital of Culture. (1, 2)


11 Shoes on the Danube Promenade, Hungary

Shoes on the Danube Promenade is a set of a number of iron shoes sculpted to pay tribute to more than 20,000 Jews who were massacred during World War II along the banks of the Danube River by Szalasi.

Shoes on the Danube Promenade, Hungary
Image credit: Shutterstock

Szalasi was the leader of Hungry and was moved by Hitler’s ideology. All kinds of people including children were asked to remove their shoes at gunpoint before they were shot because shoes were a valuable commodity in those times, and their corpora were carried away by the freezing water of the river.

The monument consists of 60 pairs of shoes that are designed in 1940s style. They were created by film director Can Togay and the sculptor Gyula Pauer, and the work was finished on 16 April 2005.

The footwear at the site are of all kinds men’s boots, lady’s heels, and small shoes of children depicting that no one was spared regardless of age, gender, etc. (source)


12 The Monument of an Anonymous Passerby, Poland

Also known as “Przejscie,” this is a sculpture of 14 human figures sinking into one side of the streets of Swidnicka and rising from the opposite one. The monument by Jerzy Kalina is interpreted as a testimonial to the citizens who were either killed or went missing in 1980 when martial law was passed in Poland.

The Monument of an Anonymous Passerby, Poland
Image credit: Shutterstock

“Przejscie” translates into “passage” or “transition,” and the monument is also known as the “Anonymous Pedestrians.”

The authoritarian government imposed martial law from December 1981 to July 1983. The law basically exercised unreasonable restrictions on common citizens and suppressed burgeoning anti-Communist opposition groups.

The anniversary of the law is recognized on 24 December every year, and in 2005 on the same date, the bronze monument was installed.

People sinking on one side represent the suppression, and rising from the other end represents the re-emergence of the citizens after the law was lifted. (source)


13 Ocean Atlas, Bahamas

Ocean Atlas is the largest underwater sculpture deployed just off the coast of Nassau. The statue is of a giant girl carrying the ocean on her shoulders. Jason deCaires Taylor created it, and the primary reason for the project is to encourage coral colonization and deters tourists from endangering the reefs.

Ocean Atlas, Bahamas
Image credits: Jason Decaires Taylor/Underwatersculpture.com

Jason is an artist, photographer, naturalist, and diver, and he introduced his stunning statue in 2014. The sculpture is made up of sustainable, pH-neutral material used to kickstart local coral activities.

Ocean Atlas, Bahamas
Image credit: atlasobscura.com

And the gesture of the oversized girl is meant to symbolize the scope of the positive potential of human interaction with nature. The sculpture sits just five meters beneath the sea on the west coast of New Province in Nassau. (source)

14 The Apennine Colossus, Italy

The Colossus is a 35-foot-tall sculpture of a man with a shaggy beard and an untidy appearance to personify the Apennine Mountains. The sculpture is a building at the same time, inside which there are a number of grottoes. It is a popular site in the garden of Villa Medici near Florence and is sculpted by Giambologna.

The Apennine Colossus, Italy
Image credit: Shutterstock

The huge man has soft skin emerging out of rough terrain. It is said that it recalls the figure of Atlas in Virgil’s Aeneid. The hand of the man is shown like it’s trying to bring down a beast, and the water is spilled out from the beast’s mouth into a fish pond below it.

It’s like an abyss inside the sculpture, and its walls are decorated with pearls, shells, crystals, corals. (1, 2)


15 The Mud Maid, England

The Mud Maid is a sculpture of a sleeping woman in the Lost Garden of Heligan in Cornwall by Sue Hill. The woman changes her clothes and hair according to the seasons when seasonal mosses, ivy, and plants grow over her since she is made up of wood, grass, and earth.

The Mud Maid, England
Image credit: Shutterstock

The 200-acre garden was not popular until 1990 when it was restored to life after 75 years. However, the statue of the Mud Maid and the Giant was commissioned later in 1997. The sculpture is thought of as if it is alive since it changes its clothes and hair color every season.

The sculpture was built to enhance the mysterious nature of the garden. The garden can be dated back to 400 years ago, but it lost its value after World War I. The giant sculpture and the sleeping woman seem to have re-established it by attracting more and more tourists. (1, 2, 3)

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