San Francisco ‘Venus’ Statue Will Be Nearly as Tall as Statue of LibertyMay 21, 2016
A goddess rises in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood.
British-born, Australian-raised artist Lawrence Argent is leaving a (monumental) mark on San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood with his latest sculpture, the 92-foot Venus. Currently being installed, and expected to be unveiled next spring, the polished stainless-steel work will rise almost as high as the Statue of Liberty (minus her pedestal), making it the City by the Bay’s tallest statue. Inspired by the Venus de Milo housed at the Louvre, the new public artwork is a swirling, tornado-shaped, modern rendition of the Greek masterpiece. It was constructed in China and shipped to the U.S. in 70 pieces. Once assembled, the steel Venus and its concrete base will weigh 50 tons.
Longtime San Francisco developer Angelo Sangiacomo, who passed away last winter, commissioned the towering piece as the central feature for the art-filled public plaza, C’era Una Volta, at his final residential complex. The one-acre piazza has a budget of $5 million, thanks to the San Francisco Planning Department’s “1 percent for art” initiative, which requires downtown developers to allot one percent of a project’s construction cost toward funding public art. Surrounding the goddess is Trinity Place, an Arquitectonica-designed 1,900-unit luxury apartment complex comprising four high-rise structures and currently in its third phase of construction.
Argent, who is the head of sculpture at the University of Denver’s School of Art and Art History, has made headlines in the past with his large-scale public works, which include 2014’s I am Here, a giant panda installation on a Chinese shopping mall’s façade and 2013’s Leap,a 56-foot-long red rabbit that presides over Terminal B at California’s Sacramento International Airport. The sculptor was the first of four artists selected by Sangiacomo to present their visions for Trinity Place’s art project, and the developer was immediately dazzled. The rest is (contemporary) history.
Reprinted from: Condé Nast TravelerBack to In The News